Hardness vs Hardenability
When discussing abrasion resistant steel two terms that will often come up are ‘Hardness’ and ‘Hardenability,’ and while they may sound like the same thing because they have the same etymological root, they refer to very different aspects of abrasion resistant steel. While hardness is a characteristic of steel, hardenability describes the ability to do it.
What Is Hardness?
HARDNESS is a term describing the comparative resistance of the steel to penetration, gouging, and tearing. It is usually measured and stated in either the Brinell or Rockwell scale of hardness.
What Is Hardenability?
HARDENABILITY describes and refers to 2 different concepts. The first is the ability of the steel to be hardened by Heat Treatment (i.e. quenching and tempering). The second is the ability of the steel to become harder and harder with impact while “working”. This is usually referred to as “Work Hardening”.
All alloy steels can be hardened to various levels of hardness at the mill, but they remain at that level and cannot be further hardened while “working”.
What Is Abrasion Resistant Steel?
Abrasion happens when two materials are repeatedly impacted or rubbed against one another, it’s similar to friction. Some abrasion is done on purpose such as sand blasting to clean the steel, but unintentional abrasion can lead to wear and tearing that can cause malfunction and breakdown.
While many steels generally have some resistance to the ill effects of abrasion, not all steels are the same in this regard. There are some types of steel, known as abrasion resistant steel, that are made with specifically increased levels of hardness to prevent wear caused by abrasion.
ENDURA Steel Is The Best Abrasion Resistant Steel
ENDURA steel is the only abrasion resistant steel that is hardened first by the heat treating process at the mill before hardening another 25-30% when impacted while in service. In other words, the more you “Hit It”, the harder it gets.
ENDURA has a revolutionary metallurgical phenomenon known as the TRIP EFFECT (Transformation Induced by Plasticity), which is achieved by the spontaneous rearrangement of metallic atoms under stress.
Think of catching a baseball. You hold your hand in a ridged position and the ball crashes into and damages your hand. Now imagine letting your hand “give a little” as you catch the ball, like a trampoline, and you will notice a great reduction in the damage to your hand. This is the TRIP EFFECT of ENDURA when rocks, gravel, and other abrasive materials crash into it, and it is why this abrasion resistant steel outlasts all other wear steels.
Also, because of the heat treatment and quenching in oil rather than water, the microstructure is very homogeneous. Think of dropping pick up sticks. The sticks are a jumble. Now think of laying down all the sticks in a row beside each other. That is ENDURA’s microstructure. This limits tearing, shearing and gouging of the steel.
A unique abrasion resistant steel is easy to process, has a homogeneous micro structure, benefits from the TRIP effect, and offers work hardening to a very high level when in service. ENDURA steel fits all the criteria. Contact us for more information about this steel.