Greater dimensional precision and increased strength make low carbon grades an important grade to consider for profile configurations produced by cold rolling. The formability of the many grades of low carbon steel is ideal for cold rolling. In this post, we explore the different kinds of low-carbon steel grades as well as some of their applications.
Common Low-Carbon Steel Grades Used for Cold Rolling
Low-carbon steel is one of three main carbon steel categories:
Low carbon (mild steel): This is the largest group of carbon steel, characterized by 0.04% to 0.30% carbon content. Low-carbon steel allows manufacturers to create a broad variety of shapes, from flat steel to structural beams. The addition of other elements such as aluminum or manganese means that carbon steel can be altered to fit a variety of applications.
Medium carbon: Stronger than low-carbon steel, this variation includes a content of 0.31% to 0.60% carbon alloyed with manganese ranging from 0.060% to 1.65%. Medium-carbon steel is more difficult to form, cut, and weld, but manufacturers can more easily heat treat it to harden and temper medium-carbon steel products.
High carbon (carbon tool steel): High-carbon steel is very difficult to bend, cut, or weld, making it an excellent choice for use as tool steel. Its carbon content ranges from 0.61% to 1.50%. Heat treatment of this steel makes it extremely hard and brittle.
Because of its forming characteristics, low-carbon steel is an ideal material of choice for the cold rolling process. Rathbone Precision Metals uses various grades of low-carbon steel to produce cold-rolled and cold-drawn steel profiles. Among these low-carbon steel grades are:
C1008: Comprising 0.10% carbon and 0.40% manganese in its content, C1008 is easy to form and weld. It’s a common structural component in furniture, automotive equipment, and appliances.
C1010: The carbon content of this grade ranges from 0.080% to 0.13%, and it includes between 0.30% and 0.60% manganese. Quenching and tempering increase this steel’s strength, making it the material of choice when building cold-headed fasteners and bolts.
C1018: The most common readily available general-purpose steel is often used to produce carburized parts. It rates at 78% machinability and is easy to weld. It is composed of between 0.15% and 0.20% carbon and 0.60% to 0.90% manganese. Its primary applications include uses as carburized parts, mounting plates, fixtures, and spacers.
C1020: C1020 is another general-purpose steel with carbon content between 0.18% and 0.23% and manganese content between 0.30% and 0.60%. It is a lesser manufactured grade than 1018. This steel demonstrates good machinability in its as-forged condition. It’s also easy to weld and works well when carburized. This grade of low-carbon steel is commonly used in machinery parts, and forged pump, hydraulic, and motor shafts.
C1045: This steel has one of the highest carbon contents of commonly used low-carbon steels. Carbon content ranges from 0.43% to 0.50%, and manganese content comprises 0.60% to 0.90%. This strong steel maintains consistency better than other grades when forged or heat treated; however, it requires specialized workers to use it in welding and machining applications. Light gears, torsion bars, forged connecting rods, crankshafts, bolts, and axles are all common applications created using this steel grade.
It is important to note that when considering the above low-carbon grades, the higher the carbon content grade can provide more strength and hardness than that of the lower carbon content grades. C1045, having the highest carbon content of these low carbon grades can therefore provide more strength and hardness than that of C1020, C1018, C1010 and C1008.
Rathbone’s Cold-Rolled and Cold-Drawn Low-Carbon Steel
Precision cold-rolled and cold-drawn steel profiles are some of the most prevalently manufactured items at Rathbone Precision Metals. Our steel products can fit within diameters of 0.032” to 2.00” and come with standard dimensional tolerances of ±0.002” thickness and ±0.005” width for cold-rolled profiles. We offer linear dimensional tolerances from our standard ±0.002” to ±0.0005” using cold drawing controls.
We deliver customer-required cross-sectional dimensions and profile configurations in a variety of forms, which include:
Catch-weight and pancake-wound coils
Exact-length and random mill length bars
Deburred and non-burred saw-cut pieces
Adiabatic sheared pieces for those requiring larger volumes
Quality Cold-Rolled Steel from Rathbone Precision Metals
Cold-rolled steel is an important material used to create a broad range of components that appear in many different industries. Low-carbon steel’s unique characteristics make it an ideal material for your consideration to be provided as a cold rolled or cold drawn steel profile. Rathbone provides quality cold rolling and cold drawing processes for customers requiring versatile steel solutions.
Rathbone Precision Metals provides high-precision metal parts for a variety of sectors, including the power generation, aerospace, firearms, manufacturing, and medical industries. We specialize in precision cold rolled and cold drawn profiles from numerous metals and alloys, such as carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, copper alloys, and much more. Our final profiles may be provided in bar lengths or cut into specified length pieces.
Our cold drawing processes provide myriad benefits, including:
Superior surface finish
Controlled dimensional precision
Our advanced equipment and skilled craftsmen are capable of creating products with standard dimensional tolerances ranging from +/- 0.002 inches to an optional +/- 0.0005 inches, with even tighter tolerances achievable upon request.
The Cold Drawing Process
Rathbone Precision Metals’ process of cold drawing by pulling metal though a die is used to produce a number of profile configurations for a number of applications. As the metal is pulled through the die at room temperature, plastic deformation occurs as the metal takes on the shape cut into the die. This cold working increases mechanical properties consistently along the length of the bar being drawn. As a result of the material being constrained within the shape of the profile cut into the die, each bar is uniformly dimensioned from one end to the other. In addition, the cold working imparts superior surface finishes as compared to hot extruded profiles.
The Pistol Hammer
Small and asymmetrically shaped, pistol hammers strike the percussion cap or firing pin to ignite the propellant which launches the projectile. The above characteristics make cold drawing ideal for producing complex profile configuration for pistol hammers. The manufacture of cold drawn steel for firearms requires superior accuracy and precision – if the smallest part does not fit or function correctly, the consequences can be disastrous.
At Rathbone Precision Metals, our cold roll die design and manufacturing capabilities allow us to produce dimensionally accurate hammer parts with tight corner and fillet radii with linear dimensional tolerances up to ± 0.002 inches. We are also able to cold draw serrations in fine detail, eliminating the need for secondary machining operations and reducing overall production cost.
We frequently work with 4140 steel and higher steel alloys (such as stainless steel) in the manufacture of pistol hammers. The superior ductility, toughness, and tensile strength properties of these materials ensure that our pistol hammers can withstand the harsh impact loads experienced in firearm applications. Exacting process controls allows us to offer steel alloy decarburization in accordance with customer requirements and industry standards.
Rathbone Precision Metals can produce myriad profiles with an 125 Ra finish and in many instances 60 Ra. All products are thoroughly inspected for dimensional accuracy at our facilities per our stringent quality management procedures using our fleet of advanced measuring equipment.
Shooting Straight with Rathbone Profiles
Rathbone Precision Metals can cold draw nearly any type pistol hammer profile. Our team of experienced engineers and technicians can meet the most stringent production demands – from low volume units to large-scale mass production.
Are you interested in a manufacturer that can handle the tight tolerances and strict requirements of your firearm specifications? Have your pistol hammers manufactured by Rathbone Profiles! Contact us or request a quote to get started.
Steel rolling is a manufacturing process that involves passing metal stock through a pair of rolls in order to output it as flat steel sheets. Steel rolling can be divided into two main processes: hot rolling and cold rolling. The latter is further divided into cold rolling and cold drawing, which are both discussed in further detail below.
It’s important to understand the difference between cold rolled and cold drawn steel in order to choose the best process for your specific unique.
What Is Cold Drawn Steel?
Cold drawn steel, sometimes referred to more broadly as cold finished steel, is passed through a die or several dies at room temperature to help shape the metal into the desired form.
What Is the Cold Drawn Steel Process?
To make cold drawn steel, hot rolled straight bars or hot rolled steel coils are first brought down to room temperature. Once the steel stock cools down, it is passed through a die. Several passes through the die may be required before the steel can be drawn into the final product, typically a bar or wire.
What Are the Benefits of Cold Drawn Steel?
Cold drawn steel properties offer several advantages over those of hot rolled steel. For one, this technique can be used for products requiring more precise measurements since the metal does not change shape during the drawing process. Cold drawn steel also offers high tensile strength and better aesthetics.
What Is Cold Rolled Steel?
Cold rolled steel refers to stock that is rolled at room temperature. Because the material is not subjected to heat, cold rolled steel is stronger and harder than hot rolled steel, though cold rolled steel less malleable.
What Is Cold Rolling?
Cold rolling refers to the process of rolling steel stock to the desired shape and size at room temperature.
Depending on the finished product, an annealing process — which involves treating cold rolled steel with heat — can be used to enhance cold rolled steel properties. Annealing may be done prior to, during, or after the cold rolling process.
What Are Common Cold Rolled Steel Applications?
Cold rolled steel is ideal for use in products that require high precision. Therefore, this process is commonly used for home appliances, metal furniture, and a wide range of construction applications.
Rathbone Precision Metals, Inc. manufactures precision cold drawn and cold rolled steel profiles using a wide array of materials, including carbon steel, free cutting steel, alloy steel, stainless steel, nickel alloys, high temp alloys, and brass and copper alloys.
To learn more about the differences between cold rolled steel and cold drawn steel, or to request a quote for your specific needs, reach out to the team today.