The knowledge on steel melting point will help you choose best fabrication technique, and decide on the best practical application. Today’s guide explores the melting points of various steel grades.
So, before choosing steel for you next metal fabrication process, read this guide.
What is Metal Melting Point
The melting point is the temperature required for a solid to turn to liquid.
Usually, the metal melting point is dependent on the structure of the metal. Depending on the composition of the metal heat can either flow rapidly or slowly through it. The faster heat can be conducted through a metal the lower the melting point. Metals tend to have overall higher melting points compared to other substances. This can be attributed to their crystal structures which have very strong bonds.
With that in mind, let’s explores some melting point of steel grades.
Types of Steel and their Melting Point
Steel is an alloy. The alloy’s makeup includes iron and carbon. Owing to its durability and resistance to corrosion and high temperatures steel is one of the more commonly used alloys in many industries because of its.
There are different types and grades of steel in the market. This actually explains the varying steel metal melting points.
Melting Point for Stainless Steel
Stainless steel contains both carbon and iron. 10.5 percent of chromium is also added to make it stainless. Stainless comes in different types and grades incorporating other elements. The more the elements incorporated the lower the melting point gets. The melting point of stainless steel ranges from 1371-1540°C depending on the type.
Carbon Steel Melting Point
Carbon steel is made up of 1-2 percent carbon and as much as 1.65 percent of manganese. It may contain small percentages of silicon and copper. The higher the carbon percentage the lower the melting point. Other elements may also lower the melting point. Melting point of carbon steel ranges from 1425-1540°C.
Mild Steel Melting Point
Mild steel comprises a higher percentage of iron and a lower percentage of carbon. There are different grades with different melting points. Given the low carbon percentage, mild steel’s melting point is typically higher. Its melting point ranges from 1350oC-1530oC.
Melting Point of Maraging Steel
Maraging steel has a higher percentage of carbon and a higher percentage of nickel. It also contains small amounts of cobalt, aluminum, and molybdenum among others. Maraging steel has a melting point of 1413°C.
Alloy Steel Melting Point
Alloy steel is composed of several elements including chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, silicon, manganese, nickel, and boron. These elements can constitute from one up to as high as fifty percent of the metal’s composition. The melting point varies depending on the percentage of alloys present in the type of alloy steel you have. The melting point ranges from 1432°C to 1415°C.
Melting Point of Tool Steel
Tool steel is the hardest type of steel. It comprises molybdenum, tungsten, chromium, and vanadium which form carbide as well as a high percentage of carbon. In some cases, nickel and cobalt may also be added. Depending on the composition the melting point may vary from 1400 to 1425°C.
Factors Affecting Melting Point of Steel
Some factors can affect the melting point of steel. These factors include:
· Force of Attraction
Steel has a compact structure held together by a metallic bond that has strong attraction forces. Different types of steel have varying levels of attraction forces. The melting points may vary depending on how weak or strong the attraction force is.
Steel is mainly made up of two components carbon and iron. Elements such as manganese and boron among others may be added to boost some traits in the steel. These elements are viewed as impurities as they are not part of the primary makeup of steel. Some elements such as chromium and nickel are added to raise the melting point as these metals have a higher melting point than iron. However, adding a lot of elements to the alloy will cause a drop in the melting point of steel
Thermal expansion is one of the factors that may influence a metal’s melting point. The expansion leads to a reduction in the bonding forces allowing the metal to change its state. Increasing pressure on the object will minimize the rate of expansion both volumetric and thermal thereby increasing the melting point.
Comparing Melting Point of Steel to other Metals
The melting point of metal depends on its composition and atomic structure. Properties such as density and thermal conductivity also influence the melting points of various metals.
Steel Compared to Copper
Steel is an amalgamation consisting of iron and carbon. The types of steel vary depending on the different elements added to the steel. The different variations therefore result in different melting points. Melting points of steel vary from 1370°C to 1520°C. Copper is a pure metal that is soft and has a high thermal conductivity. The higher the conductivity the lower the melting point. Copper has a melting point of 1,085 °C.
Steel Compared to Brass
Similar to how steel is a fusion of carbon and iron, brass is obtained from a blend of zinc and copper. Iron typically has a very high melting point and therefore its alloy equally has a high melting point. The melting point of steel ranges from 1370°C to 1520°C. it reduces with the increase in the percentage of carbon and other impurities. The melting point of brass is relatively lower as it is made from copper which also has a lower melting point. Its melting point ranges from 900°C to 940°C depending on the composition of the brass.
Steel Compared to Bronze
Bronze is an amalgamation whose bigger portion consists of copper. The copper is typically mixed with elements including zinc, tin, aluminum, manganese, or nickel. Given that it is primarily made of copper just like brass its melting point is on the lower side. The iron in steel allows it to have a higher melting point despite also incorporating similar elements in the steel. Steel has a melting point of 1370°C to 1520°C which is much higher than that of brass which ranges from 850°C to 1000°C.
Steel Compared to Aluminum
Aluminum is a pure metal and one of the most commonly available metals given to its widespread. It has a high thermal conductivity and a low density. These properties contribute to its low melting point. Steel on the other hand has a higher density with a considerably lower thermal conductivity. The melting point of aluminum ranges from 660°C while steel has a much higher melting point of 1370°C to 1520°C
Steel vs Titanium
Titanium is a durable metal with about half the density of iron. Titanium however has a very low thermal conductivity. Its low thermal conductivity makes it excellent for heat resistance. Although it’s half as dense as iron which makes steel considerably stronger its low thermal conductivity makes it have a higher melting point than steel. Steel’s melting point is 1370°C to 1520°C while titanium’s melting point is 1660°C to 1680°C
Steel vs Iron
Iron is the primary component of steel. The higher the percentage of iron in steel is the higher the melting point will be. However, steel also includes carbon and some types includes another element. An increase in the number of trace elements in the steel typically results in the reduction of the alloy’s melting point. Iron is very dense and has a low thermal conductivity. The melting point of iron is 1538 °C which is higher than that of steel and ranges from 1370°C to 1520°C.
How to Increase The Melting Point of Steel
There are several methods you can use to raise the melting point of steel and make it more heat resistant. These methods include:
- Lower the percentage of carbon. The higher the percentage of carbon in a metal the lower the melting point. When purchasing steel for use in a high-temperature setting you should get steel that has a lower carbon percentage.
- Increase the pressure of the steel. The higher the pressure the higher the melting point. Pressure helps increase the melting point of steel.
- Use a limited number of elements. Although different elements can be incorporated for their various advantages. The more the number of alloys present the lower the melting point. Steel without many elements has a higher melting point.
- Incorporate alloys that will help raise the melting point. Chromium and molybdenum are examples of elements that can be added to steel to increase its melting point.
Importance of Knowing Steel’s Melting Point
Steel is a versatile metal known for its sturdiness and durability. It is used in several industries including aerospace, power generation, automotive, construction, and manufacturing industries. Knowing the melting point of the different types of steel will ensure that you get the most suitable one for your area.
Purchasing steel with a lower melting point and using it in an application that subjects it to temperatures higher than its melting point may lead to disastrous consequences. Therefore, taking into consideration the melting point of the type of steel is very important.
Steel is a durable metal with a very high tensile strength and an amplified resistance to corrosion. Its relatively high melting point also means that it can withstand high temperatures provided they do not reach its melting point. It is therefore important to understand the melting point before you make the purchase or seek clarification from the manufacturers.
Melting Point of Copper – Source: KDMFAB
Metal and Alloys Melting Temperatures – Source: Engineering Toolbox
Melting Point of Metals – Source: KDMFAB