High Strength Steel
Every steel variety’s properties depend on the ratio of iron to alloying materials, usually carbon, as well as other additives. Also, a steel’s physical properties can be changed by metal treatment processes like hot and cold rolling.
High strength steels usually feature a comparatively low carbon content, typically between 0.05 and 0.25% of the steel’s mass, which allows the steel to retain qualities of weldability and formability. A long list of other elements are added to alter the properties of high strength steel; this list includes manganese, in some cases amounting to as much as 2% of the steel’s mass.
Small quantities of other elements like copper, nitrogen, nickel, chromium and even some rare earth elements may also be added to give the steel a certain quality. High strength steel is known for its high structural integrity. This steel is often used in the automotive manufacturing and transportation industries to produce parts used in the construction of cars, trains, subway cars and heavy machinery.
When high strength steel is produced with the newest manufacturing techniques, it offers reduced weight, enhanced crash performance, manufacturing process consolidation and a reduction in costs.
A combination of cold rolling and proper alloying techniques produces high strength steel. Cold rolling, which is a metal working process in which metals are forced between rollers at or near room temperature, imparts higher qualities of strength because of the compressive stress to which the process subjects metals. Before a metal can be processed, it must first be alloyed.
High strength steels are usually alloyed with elements like copper, vanadium and titanium for strengthening. Advanced and ultra high strength steels have been developed over the past two decades in the steel industry and are stronger and less heavy than ever before. But with increased hardness and tensile strength comes a common problem: tooling materials that are not sturdy enough to handle the steel cab become damaged if exposed to it.
Improperly equipped machinery can become chipped and cracked if used to process metals that are too strong. For this reason, every metalworking process should be carefully planned based on variables of metal composition and equipment capacity; this reduces the likelihood of equipment failure, product loss and even worker injury.