Have castings--need to identify steel type. Anyone offer services or advise?
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    Default Have castings--need to identify steel type. Anyone offer services or advise?

    Have a number of steel castings that could possibly be re-purposed but have no info as to type of steel they are. Most probably 4140 or 8920 and need general ID of the steel before proceeding.

    Have heard scrap dealers possess some type of scan tool to ID materials but have no knowledge of accuracy.

    Located Wisconsin if that matters but will appreciate any input.

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    Large scrap yards may have an XRF gun, its not a cheap toy, you have to have the volume and need to justify the cost. If you can find one, there will be a charge for using it. I'm not sure it will give you the answers you desire.

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    Quote Originally Posted by standardparts View Post
    Have a number of steel castings that could possibly be re-purposed
    How large are the castings, how many/what weight, and what sort of "repurpose" is contemplated?

    Stuff like that may matter. Greatly. Even "legally" as well as metallurgically.

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    a spark test might give some idea if you have known examples of suspected materials the casting is made of, but as suggested, XRF gun would be more conclusive, since one of the suspects has no nickel (or shouldn't have) and the other one has some

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    Thank you for the "XRF" suggestion which seems to be a good way in get a basic I.D. on the castings and help to decide if we want to proceed. BTW---8920 was a typo and should have been 8620. Have a couple of possibilities for getting the test done and will update this post. Thanks again for the XRF reference!

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    Do the castings have any markings on them? Foundries often put their mark on them. Could possibly backtrack to find the material spec from the foundry if markings are present.

    Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk

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    Our local scrap yard has an XRF gun. I’ve taken several materials there and can say from experience it does not have the resolution to tell 4140 from 8620. It can do some basic sorting, red brass from various bronze alloys for example. Aluminum and Al/Zn alloys. That sort of thing. To do what you want you would need to take a small chunk and do a chemical analysis. Here we have a company called Quant. I think they charge about $75 to do what you want.


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    If those are the only two possibilities, it's pretty easy. Make a few samples, have some carburized and some quenched. 8620 will get a case and keep a ductile core, quenched 4140 will come up to a higher hardness and it won't like being cased.

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    Tensile Testing Metallurgical Laboratory - Home


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    The scrap yard we use has an XRF gun and it CAN tell 8620 from 4140, so I'm surprised to hear that. It can also tell 356 from 6061 aluminum.

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    Quote Originally Posted by adh2000 View Post
    Our local scrap yard has an XRF gun. I’ve taken several materials there and can say from experience it does not have the resolution to tell 4140 from 8620. It can do some basic sorting, red brass from various bronze alloys for example. Aluminum and Al/Zn alloys. That sort of thing. To do what you want you would need to take a small chunk and do a chemical analysis. Here we have a company called Quant. I think they charge about $75 to do what you want.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    This turned out to be the solution to my original post regarding determining type of steel in some castings we were looking at.

    Although the "XRF" gun sounded good, after contacting two labs they felt that it was not a sure thing if the steel alloys were close. So followed up with the Quant Corporation in Waukesha, WI as suggested. Sent them a piece of the casting, 3 days after they received the sample they returned a lab report. My guess as to the casting being 4140 or maybe 8620 turned out to be 4135H.

    So good learning experience and a problem resolved thanks to the resources on PM.

    Thanks to all who responded with suggestions which in all cases were valid.

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