Material Basics Part I: Steels Used for TEC Metal Stamping in Minneapolis, MN

August 3rd, 2016 · 2 Comments

This is Part I of a three-part series covering metal stamping materials used at TEC. Part II covers copper and copper alloys, and Part III covers aluminum and other alloys.

Metal stamping serves a significant range of industries, providing parts used in anything from large vehicles and machinery down to the smallest metal parts needed in precise medical and electrical tools. While the form and function of stamped parts varies immensely, there remains a commonality between each part created: the deliberate choices in material. Metal stamping companies around the world place great weight on the ability of quality material to make or break the value of a part. This three-part series covers the basics of the materials used at Thomas Engineering Company with precision metal stamping in Minneapolis, MN.

Some of the most commonly-used sheet metal materials are various types of steel, valued for degrees of strength, relative flexibility, and resistance to corrosion.

Steel, in the most basic terms, is an alloy of iron and carbon with varying levels of other elements such as ferrite, austenite, graphite, chromium, nickel, and more. These other elements determine the type of steel, and each steel type is further broken down into a steel grade. In the U.S., SAE International has regulated these steel grades since 1955.  To further increase the durability of steel and protect it from corrosion and wear and tear, a powder coating service is recommended.

Of the numerous steel types in this system, TEC uses three specific kinds:

Carbon Steel is a basic steel type consisting of iron with carbon as the main additional element, equaling to .12% to 2%. Carbon steel also has a maximum requirement for levels of other elements peaking at 1.65% for manganese, .60% for silicon, and .60% for copper. This type of steel works well for parts that undergo heavy wear over extended periods of time.

Electrical Steel is a type of steel alloy specially altered to have magnetic properties that allow an electrical resistance that streamlines the conduction of any electrical current. Electrical steel grades can be altered based on the orientation of the crystalline particles.

Stainless Steel is commonly used in situations where exposure to corrosive materials and potential oxidation is consistent. The alloy has a higher content of chromium which forms a layer of chromium oxide. This protects the part from the damaging factors of rust, staining, salt-water corrosion, and other forms of tarnishing and damage.


Tags: Metal Stamping ·


2 responses to “Material Basics Part I: Steels Used for TEC Metal Stamping in Minneapolis, MN”

  1. […] vary both from metal to metal and between the different metal treating processes. For example, steel is commonly used for most metal stamped parts, and its characteristics change with […]

  2. […] our everyday lives and on the manufacturing floor of virtually every industrial building. Stainless steel is a commonly-recognized alloy, but often coppers and aluminums used day-to-day are types of alloys […]

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