Of all the steel alloys out there, Manganese is perhaps one of the most unique—and interesting—options on the market. It’s non-magnetic despite its high iron-content, and it actually hardens under conditions whereas other alloys would shear or wear. In this article, we’ll give you a little insight into what Manganese Steel Alloy is, where it comes from, and why it’s so incredible.

The Origin of Manganese Steel

Manganese steel, or ‘Hadfield Manganese’, was discovered by Sir Robert Hadfield in 1882. Formulating different grades of steel during this period was an art; people were very secretive and there was not much information available.

Hadfield experimented with various combinations of carbon and manganese. When he tried high ratios of up to 80% manganese and 7% carbon, he found that the steel was too brittle. With lower ratios, of approximately 1.2% carbon and 11-14% manganese, the material appeared dull and soft. Yet when Hadfield tested this ratio, to his amazement, it could not be cut with a saw or machined with conventional tools. It sheared the teeth off his file and would not hold an edge. It was non-magnetic despite containing over 80% iron, and was highly resistant to electricity. When he attempted to grind it, the surface became polished, and the more he impacted or “HIT” the steel, the harder and tougher it became.

The Many Uses of Manganese

Manganese steel’s ability to Work-Harden with impact from 250 Brinell Hardness (BHN) to over 550 BHN makes it the best wear steel for many applications including: jaw and cone crushers, impact crushers including car shredders, hammers, ore pocket and bucket liners, shoots and conveyors. Its austenitic (non-magnetic) properties makes it ideal for frogs and switches for rail cars.

Manganese steel is also ideal for some non wear-related applications. Manganese steel resists many of the normal break-in methods by thieves like sawing, drilling etc, making it ideal for safes and jail bars. In fact TITUS STEEL, for many decades, supplied correctional institutions across Canada and the US with Manganese jail bars for years, until traditional jails with bars were phased out and replaced by secure housing quarters.

Today Titus Manganese (TITUS Mn) is supplied in plate, flat, round, square bars and tubing used in all the applications listed above. It continues to be one of the best steels available to solve many impact wear application where other alloy steels have failed.

If you’d like to learn how TITUS Mn can help with your high-wear and high-security applications, contact us today.