High manganese steel (Manganal) is perhaps one of the most unique and exceptional types of specialized steel on the market. However, if you mention ‘Manganese’ to anyone outside of the world of metallurgy, you’ll likely be met with a blank stare.

To help you to understand just how exceptional Titus Steel’s high manganese steel is, we have assembled a list of the most common questions that customers tend to ask:

Frequently Asked Questions About High Manganese Steel

1. What is high manganese steel?

High manganese steel (Manganal) is an austenitic (nonmagnetic), work-hardening steel. Also known as Hadfield steel or mangalloy, it contains 11-14% manganese and a carbon content of 1-1.25%. The “high” refers to the high carbon content, and this type of steel is recognized for its exceptional impact strength and resistance to abrasion when hardened. It’s often hailed as the premier work-hardening steel.

2. Why is high manganese steel unusual?

Manganese steel thrives in severe wear conditions. The more it is impacted and hammered, the harder its surface becomes. This is known as “work-hardening.” Plus, high manganese steel remains ductile under the surface, making it an effective steel in combating both impact and abrasion.

3. When was manganese steel first discovered?

It was discovered by Robert Hadfield in Sheffield, England in 1882 and was introduced into the U.S. in 1892.

4. Why is manganese steel widely used?

It has very high ductility, strength and exceptional wear resistance in the most punishing conditions.

5. What are the applications of manganese steel?

Due to its ability to harden on its own, manganese steel has been a staple in the mining sector for decades. It’s used in various equipment such as cement mixers, rock crushers, tractor crawler treads, elevator and shovel buckets. Additionally, it finds applications in the rail industry for switches and crossings, and in environments requiring high-impact resistance.

In the past, manganese steel was even employed in prison window bars due to its ability to thwart escape attempts by chewing up hacksaw blades. Nowadays, it’s commonly utilized in safes, bulletproof cabinets, and anti-drill plates.

6. In what form is it available?

Manganese steel is available under the trade name TITUS Mn. and is sold as hot rolled plates, bars, and shapes. It is also sold as a casting.

7. Does manganese steel have magnetic properties?

Manganese steel, known for its wear and work hardening capabilities, is non-magnetic. This characteristic makes it well-suited for applications in electrical transformer assemblies and for industrial lifting magnets.

8. Why is TITUS Mn different from case-hardened steels or AR steels?

When it comes to case hardened and AR steels, their depth of hardness is fixed. TITUS Mn’s hard surface is continually renewed and re-hardened as it wears away, right down to the last millimeter of thickness.

9. How hard can the surface of manganese steel get?

When manganese steel is put into service, it is usually about 200 Brinell. Depending on deformation, the surface can work-harden up to 500 Brinell.

10. How is manganese steel cut?

Manganese steel, while presenting some challenges in machining, can still be drilled with success using diamond or carbide tools. When forging at a yellow heat, it maintains its integrity and toughness, showcasing its reliability in high-temperature conditions.

While it requires special tooling for cutting and grinding due to its rapid hardening nature, manganese steel can be effectively cut using plasma or laser cutting methods. These advanced techniques ensure precise and efficient cutting, highlighting the versatility of manganese steel in modern manufacturing processes.

11. Does machining affect TITUS Mn?

Due to its properties, manganese steel does not lend itself to usual machine shop methods. When a drill or certain cutting tools are applied, the machining will quickly work-harden the area you mean to shear or puncture. The steel is machinable within limits using special tooling.

12. In addition to its ability to work harden, its toughness and ductility, are there any other advantages to TITUS Mn?

While these are often major selling points, manganese steel also has a low coefficient of friction, which is extremely advantageous in metal-to-metal applications.

13. How does TITUS Mn behave under impact with no abrasion?

Unlike AR steel, which tends to erode quickly and breaks down at the surface with cracking, gouging, and tearing, high manganese steel work-hardens rapidly, taking on a smooth polish due to its low friction properties, while retaining its great toughness under the hardened surface. A good example of surface work-hardening with mostly impact is the liners of shot blast cabinets.

14. How does it perform with no impact but only compression?

The surface work-hardens with compression, the same as with impact. For example, cone crushers with rocks are crushed. The compressive abrasion deforms the surface structure and therefore it work-hardens rapidly.

15. How does high manganese steel work under “light abrasion”?

This is one application where high manganese steel might not be the best option. If an application only uses light abrasion, then the steel will not undergo enough surface deformation to work harden. However, if the surface experiences only light abrasion but significant impact or compression, it will work harden and become more resistant to abrasion.

16. Does manganese steel rust?

Increasing manganese content in steel can have a positive impact on corrosion resistance, attributed in part to the absorption of manganese ions. However, it’s important to note that manganese steel doesn’t offer significantly better corrosion resistance compared to mild steel, despite the enhanced manganese levels.

17. How does high temperature affect manganese steel?

Continuous high temperatures can embrittle the manganese steel and cause cracking.

18. What type of welding electrode is best?

Specialty welding electrodes, such as the AWS EFeMN grouping and the specially modified manganese weld rod sold by Titus Steel, are ideal for working with manganese steel. The advantage of a special manganese steel weld rod is that it will also work harden if exposed to the “work area.” There is no pre or post heating required.

19. Can welding by oxyacetylene be used?

Oxyacetylene is not recommended for manganese steel.

20. Does heat from welding affect TITUS Mn?

Welding heat from appropriate equipment will have no effect on strength, ductility, or work hardening of manganese steel.

21. What methods are used to work TITUS Mn?

Titus manganese steel can be cut by plasma, oxyfuel, or abrasive cut-off saws. Shearing, bending, and rolling operations necessitate heavy equipment, typically two to three times larger than what’s used for mild steel.

Learn More About High Manganese Steel from Titus Steel

These are the most common questions we field but we understand that there is much more to know about high manganese steel, particularly as it applies to your unique applications and needs. If you have any questions about manganese steel or any other type of steel, we invite you to contact us today.

Titus Steel has been selling TITUS Mn (Manganal) for more than 60 years. We are experts in the application and use of this unique manganese steel and are more than happy to answer any questions you may have.