You can find steel parts in all sorts of products around you. Steel is one of the most-used metals for everything large and small. It’s fairly easy to machine, inexpensive, and very durable.
Spex uses CNC machines to manufacture high quantities of precision steel parts using a wide variety of steel alloys. We are an industry-leading machine shop and help our customers fulfill their part needs.
The main element in every type of steel is Iron. On its own, iron isn’t very useful, so it’s mixed with other elements to create different steel alloys.
Two main groups of steel alloys are Carbon Steel and Alloy Steel. These alloys are numbered. Carbon Steel alloys are numbered with a 1, like 1018, 12L14, and 11L14. Carbon steel is usually around 97% iron, and a mixture of carbon, manganese, and sulfur.
Alloy steels add other elements to improve the physical properties of the metal. Nickel, copper, chromium, and other elements are added to improve the durability, corrosion resistance, and appearance of the parts.
Common alloy steels include 4130, 4140, and 4340.
Steel is a widely used material worldwide and it’s incredibly versatile. Compared to other metals, steel is used in more parts than anything else. The commonality of steel, and the ability to use it in so many applications makes it one of the best options.
Alloy steel bar stock is available in round, square, and hexagonal shapes, and it can be significantly less expensive than other metals. Steel parts are also relatively easy to machine. That makes tight tolerances and complex part designs achievable.
The downside of machined steel parts is the lack of corrosion resistance. Steel parts aren’t the best option for work environments where moisture or chemicals are present. In some cases, an additional layer of protection can be added by plating or heat treating steel parts.
Given the low costs and design versatility, steel is often used for high-volume parts, where many thousands or millions of identical parts are needed.
Alloy steel is used in many CNC machining projects. CNC machining offers tight tolerances for complex steel parts, and high quantities of identical parts can be made quickly and efficiently.
Spex machines thousands of custom alloy steel parts, including:
Alloy steels are used to make parts in a wide variety of industries, including: Hydraulics, Measurement, Instrumentation, Aerospace, Petroleum, Gas, Electric, and Automotive.
Common grades of alloy steel include: 4130, 4140, and 4340. Each alloy has slightly different amounts of trace elements to improve specific qualities of the parts.
4130 steel is considered a low alloy steel. This alloy contains higher amounts of chromium (~1%) and is sometimes referred to as chromoly. 4130 alloy steel has good machinability, ductility, and strength. It’s used in the automotive, aerospace, and manufacturing industries.
4140 alloy steel is very similar to 4130. The difference is, 4140 has slightly more Carbon. The 30 in 4130 means there’s ~0.3% Carbon, and the 40 in 4140 means there is ~0.4% Carbon. The added Carbon makes 4140 alloy slightly harder and stronger.
4340 steel, as nickel-chromium-molybdenum alloy steel, is a very high strength steel. It is sought after for its toughness and for being used as a steel that will be highly stressed. 4340 steels are used in a variety of industries for different applications including the automotive, aerospace, and tooling industries.
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Phone: (585) 467-0520
85 Excel Drive
Rochester, NY 14621