Steel is made in numerous forms that suit various functions. Different types of elements contained in steel give it unique properties. Carbon steel is a common type of steel used in CNC machining cutting tools, while in this article, we want to explore another form of steel – manganese steel, covering what is manganese steel and its uses, properties, as well as the difference between manganese steel and carbon steel. Pick grade 60 and AISI 1095 as their examples respectively, which one is better for you?
Manganese steel, also called Mangalloy or Hadfield steel, is an alloy steel that contains 0.8 to 1.25% carbon and 11 to 15% manganese. Manganese steel is non-magnetic steel with extreme anti-wear properties, high abrasion resistance, high impact strength, high tensile strength, and fair yield strength. The material will achieve up to three times its surface hardness during conditions of impact, without any increase in brittleness. The basic Brinell hardness of manganese steel is 220 but that with impact wear the surface hardness will increase to higher than 550. Mangalloy is heat treatable.
Manganese steel is commonly used in the mining industry (cement mixers, rock crushers, crawler treads for tractors), rail industry (railway switches and crossings), window bars in prisons, safes, bullet-proof cabinets, anti-drill plates, metal recycling, and other high impact environments like inside a shot peening machine. Manganese utilized in crushing applications like mining and recycling has similar functions. Railway switches on the tracks are under the tremendous impact, when a train wheel hits the surface of the rail, the manganese rail is slightly deformed. This impact and deformation will cause the surface to harden, and the toughened surface will resist future wear.
Many uses of manganese steel are often limited by its difficulty in machining, sometimes it is described as zero machinability. Mangalloy can’t be softened by annealing and hardens rapidly under the cutting and grinding tools, usually needs special tools to process. This material can be drilled with diamond or carbide tools, but extreme difficulty exists. It can be cut with an oxy-acetylene torch, but plasma or laser cutting is the preferred method.
Mangalloy was created by Robert Hadfield in 1882, it is the first alloy steel that has considerable differences in properties compared to carbon steel.
1. The first difference between manganese steel and carbon steel is that mangalloy softens rather than hardens when rapidly cooled, then restores the ductility from a work-hardened state.
2. Manganese steel is much tougher than carbon steel when heated.
3. Manganese steel can resist impact significantly longer than high carbon steel.
4. Manganese steel is less abrasion resistant than high carbon steel which has been heat treated.
5. Carbon steels gain strength from tempering, Manganese steel loses ductility when tempered.
Grade 60 manganese steel is a type of high-strength steel, mainly used in applications where need to withstand harsh working conditions such as impact, extrusion, wear, etc. Wear consumption is one of the main damage sources of 60 grade steel. AISI 1095 is a spring steel, which refers to a type of steel specially used to manufacture springs and elastic elements due to its elasticity in the quenched and tempered state. The elasticity of steel depends on its elastic deformation ability, that is, within the specified range, the elastic deformation ability makes it bear a certain load, and no permanent deformation occurs after the load is removed. AISI 1095 is high carbon steel with high hardness and wear resistance, usually used to make various daggers and knives.