Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Mystery steel - rough identification help

Recommended Posts

Hi All,

I know that this kind of ask for help is way out there because there are thousands of alloys and who knows what might show up in a Hungarian scrapyard. Still if you could give some pointer thoughts, search criteria or anything, it would be great.

So, I found a 32mm/1 1/4" dia, 2m/6' long piece of steel bar. I was told it was brought in with a bunch of 304 stainless steel rods, and also with some 420 type stock I identified pretty surely. This bar in question has shiny appearance as a round bar stock. It is normally magnetic. While spark testing it threw short bright orange sparks, there seem to be low/very low carbon in it, and nothing I could recognize as distinctive element (ie. Tungsten or Chrome). In its original state files bit it very easily.

After spark testing gave me no useful information I thought I try to forge it. Under my 30kg/70lbs springhammer at orange heat it forged like butter, easier than mild steel in same size. When I gave it some taper (but no sharp point) I tried the three step harening test. First I heated it to high orange (where 420 types harden when quenching) and let it cool in open air. Next morning I ran a file on it and it air hardened so much that no file bit it, not even at the corners. Hardening is consistent at the whole surface it was heated. Non heated surface remained soft.

If these infos ring a bell to anyone, please feel free to share. Or about any more testing which could provide more usable information. Also if you got some ideas what to use this material for it is welcome, too.

Thank you for time and energy!



Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Glenn said:

One bar or a bunch of bars in the same pile?

only one bar of this kind. it's still 5' long

8 hours ago, ThomasPowers said:

It's the air hardening that is really interesting as well as the softness during forging.

Some of the high alloys steels like H-13 can air harden and show a low c type of spark even though they have a high level of C; but they are generally tougher under the hammer.

exactly! that's why i'm confused. after forging it I didn't expect any hardening at all. 

I try and cut the hardened part to see if it hardened all the way trough. Also trying to temper it (blindfolded). If I achieve some toughness it can be good for some nice looking forged tooling. It can be forged decoratively while hot, let's see how undangerous it can be when using it.

Thanks for your input!




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Made a cold punch out of this material. Point heated to over bright orange, air cooled. Tested it a bit on mild plate - no chipping, no deforming at the point. It holds up nice and does the job.

Also "tested" tempering, at blue color it losts its hardness pretty much.

Before I started to forge the punch, tried to break the 3/4x5/8" cross section full hardened stock by hitting it with a 4lbs hammer - no damage.

2017 01 pontozo ism anyag.jpg

Any ideas? 



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...