Steel & Aluminum

The Steel Industry has seven main categories of steel – Stock, Aluminum, Stainless, Brass, Cold Finish, Toy Steel, and Alloy Steel – with numerous grades and finishes. Forney® Steel and Aluminum offering focuses on the three most popular categories – Stock, Aluminum, and Cold Finish. These products are found in hardware, fencing, maintenance, agricultural, transportation equipment, and construction supplies.

Grades of Steel

The Steel industry has comprised a numbering system to help consumers easily identify the type of steel needed for the desired application. You can determine the alloying ingredients by the first two digits of the alloy number, and the carbon content by the last two digits. For instance, 1018 is simply iron with a carbon content of 0.18%.

What is the importance of Carbon Content?

Generally speaking, as the carbon content goes up, strength increases, but machinability and weldability decrease. 

What is the difference between 1018 Mild Steel and A36 Mild Steel

1018 Mild Steel

  • Most commonly available in cold-rolled steels.
  • Good combination of all of the typical traits of steel - strength, some ductility
  • Comparative ease of machining
  • Creates a better surface finish

A36 Mild Steel

  • Most commonly available of the hot-rolled steels
  • Bend much more quickly than will 1018
  • More difficult in machining processes

What is the difference between Cold Rolled and Hot Rolled Steel?

Cold Rolled

  • Smaller products that need to be more durable and tolerant, should be created with the cold rolled steel process
  • Processing techniques that requires close tolerances
  • Limited to a few shapes
  • Offers superior strength and machinability.
  • Smooth surface
  • More expensive

Hot Rolled

  • Larger sized materials that need to be in more distinct shapes should be created with the hot rolled steel process.
  •  Dimensional accuracy and precision tolerances is not a primary concern
  • More malleable, allowing it to be forced into a variety of different shapes.
  • Popular for applications where finished surface quality is not critical
  • Grainy and rough surface
  • More economical

What does 6063-T5 signify?

  • Often referred to as “architectural aluminum”
  • Surface finish that is far smoother than the other commercially available alloys
  • “Fair” for strength (Suited for applications where strength is not the greatest concern)
  • "Good" for forming and cold working operations
  • "Excellent" for anodizing,
  • "Fair" for machining.

What are common or typical applications for 6063 Aluminum Alloy? 

  • Include architectural and building products
  • Electrical applications and components
  • Conduit
  • Pipe and irrigation systems
  • Door and window frames; and railings.
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