Steel is a ferrous alloy metal, composed primarily of Iron, with Carbon and other elements added depending on the characteristics desired. Steel is a highly durable alloy, with a hardness which will resist external strain over time. Alone it is not rust-resistant. Adding other elements such as Molybdenum or Nickel will improve the material’s resistance to rust, otherwise, a finish, such as plating, is recommended. Fotofab offers a wide range of secondaries to choose from.
The machinability of the metal will vary greatly depending on the makeup of the base material. Fotofab offers etching of Steel (1010, 1008), Electrical/Silicon Steel (M19, M36), and Spring Steel (1050, 1074, 1095).
Characteristics of Steel:
- Steel is a rather inexpensive material
- High tensile strength
- Malleable and ductile
- Conductive of heat and electricity
Steel Etching Applications:
Due to its high tensile strength, Steel is ideal for parts used in applications where resistance to fracturing is important. In instances where a part will have heavy wear from external environments, Steel may be a material to consider to maintain durability. Steel products etched and fabricated by Fotofab include:
- Electrical Components
- Magnetic Cores of Transformers
- Brackets and Braces
Other Steel Alloys:
Electrical or Silicon Steel
A low-Carbon Steel alloy with small quantities of Silicon. The amount of silicon added to the Steel alloy is used to produce a specific magnetic property.
- Benefits of Electrical Steel (or Silicon Steel) include high resistance to electricity, a low hysteresis loss, and high permeability.
- Common Silicon Steel applications include transformers, electric motors, industrial suspension, and magnetic devices.
- Fotofab is only able to etch raw, non-coated Silicon Steel (ex. M19 and M36).
A high-Carbon Steel alloy which lends itself to heat treatment and the manufacturing of springs.
- Benefits of Spring Steel include pliability, resistance to deformation, and is known for high yield strengths and elasticity.
- Common Spring Steel applications include flat springs, button springs, antennas, and stampings.