Metal Descriptions
from: http://www.metalexpress.net/cgi-bin/index.pl


Alloy Steel

Steel is iron that is combined with other elements such as carbon, manganese and silicon.
It falls into a number of families: Alloy, Carbon, Stainless, Tool, as well as plain Cast Iron.

Alloy steels contain added elements that cause the steel to exhibit enhanced properties when heat treated.

   Cold Rolled

   Hot Rolled


Carbon Steel

Carbon steels are basic steels which harden only with surface (case) treatments.

   Cold Rolled

   Hot Rolled


Stainless Steels

   Austenitic

When nickel is added to stainless steel in sufficient amounts the crystal structure changes to "austenite". The basic composition of austenitic stainless steels is 18% chromium and 8% nickel (and are refered to as 18/8 stainless). This enhances their corrosion resistance and modifies the structure from ferritic to austenitic. Austenitic grades are the most commonly used stainless steels accounting for more than 70% of production (type 304 is the most common).

   Ferritic

Ferritic stainless steels are plain chromium steels containing between 10.5 and 18% chromium and have a low carbon content. They are magnetic and not hardenable by heat treatment. Ferritic alloys have good ductility and formability but a relatively poor high temperature strength compared to that of austenitic grades.

   Martensitic

Martensitic stainless steels were the first stainless steels that were commercially developed and have a relatively high carbon content (0.1 - 1.2%) compared to other stainless steels. They are plain chromium steels containing between 12 and 18% chromium. They are magnetic and hardenable by quenching and tempering like plain carbon steels and find their main application in cutlery, aerospace and general engineering.


Tool Steels and Drill Rod

   High carbon and chromium steels for hardened tooling.

   High Speed Steels, high carbon and molybdenum steels for tooling.

   Carbide tooling (not iron based), for those hard to get places.


Cast Iron

Also known as gray iron, this material features a close grain structure and moderately high strength. It has good machinability and responds well to fast heat treating. Excellent for valve bodies, bearing rings and seals, gears, spacers and bushings.


Aluminum

Aluminum alloys are strong, naturally soft, lightweight, ductile and malleable. Easy to machine, fabricate, join and work. Aluminum is non-toxic and electrically and thermally conductive.


Copper and Alloys

Copper is corrosion resistant and highly ductile. Great for electrical applications.

   Brass

An alloy of copper with high percentage of zinc makes it stronger and more durable than copper or bronze. Brass resists atmospheric corrosion, water, and many salt water solutions. It is easy to manufacture and maintains higher electrical characteristics.

   Bronze

An alloy of copper and tin which is generally ductile and malleable. Its high copper content makes it more corrosion resistant than brass. It is also harder and stronger than copper. Various alloys are used for bearings and marine parts.


Nickel Silver