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Steel specs... AMS and HT

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  • Steel specs... AMS and HT

    I have a 6 foot length of 1 3/8" hex mystery metal... it has "ANN. QQS-763B Cond A HT B-15952" printed on it. A few other almost unreadable - "mill" and "1 3/8". Nothing else can be read.

    I'm trying to narrow it down.

    OK... What I think I know...

    - QQS 763B : an AMS spec that seems to be associated with corrosion resistant metals, mainly stainless. Can't find a copy that I don't have to pay for.

    - ANN - Annealed

    - Cond. A. : "condition A". Not sure.... but something to do with the annealed state?

    - HT : heat treated

    - B-15952 (I think) - the heat treat spec?

    What exactly does "cond. A" mean... how can I track down the heat teat specification?
    Last edited by lakeside53; 05-21-2010, 01:57 AM.

  • #2
    I'm just guessing (aren't we all) but I suspect that "HT B-15952" stands for the heat lot, not heat treating specs.
    Heat lot kind of refers to the batch which was done on a specific day, and other rods made in the same batch will have the same heat lot number. More for tracking use in quality control than a property of the metal.

    So basically the other numbers may be informative info for the material, but the heat lot can be disregarded unless you can go to the maker with that number to have them look up things for you.

    again, I can only guess. But I suppose you can consider it an informed guess.
    Most all material will have a heat lot number on it even if no other useful marks can be found, which of course is pretty much useless information to the end user without going to the maker for more info. Looks like yours came with additional markings that are actually helpful.
    Last edited by tyrone shewlaces; 05-20-2010, 11:08 PM.


    • #3
      QQ-S-763 is the spec for the form of the material. It applies to rod (Hex, Flat, Square and Round). It is likely 304, 303, or 316.

      Other less likely options would be 302, 321, 347, 410, 416 and 440.

      If you know who made it, you can call them with the Heat number, and they can tell you the material. However, unless you get a sympathetic ear, you will likely have to pay a fee of $15.00 - 30.00 for them to fax/email you the paperwork. They won't usually tell you over the phone. But it is always worth a try! You are in luck, tomorrow is Friday, try early before their day gets hectic, it may be your lucky day.


      • #4
        Unfortunately the mill/manf is unreadable. I tried cleaning the material but that just removes the ink.

        Rats.. more mystery metal. I might try to read the ink under UV. Maybe I can read more.

        Anyone know exactly what is meant by "Condition A"?


        • #5
          Cond "A" = annealed. ADGO is right it could be any stainless 300-400 series.
          If it is magnetic it will be 400 series and likely hardenable by heat treatment.
          If it is non magnetic it should be 300 series. As far as getting certs from the mill, not likely as they will usually only supply them to companies that bought the material from them. Also, in the last 15 years there have been so many consolidations and closures there's a good chance the mill that made it is not in business anymore. Many larger scrapyards will have a handhelod alloy tester and they might tell you what it is for a fee.


          • #6
            More data : It is magnetic, that would tend to narrow it down to 400 series SS, or 17-4/15-5. It does have minor surface rust, but I need to clarify whether that's from contact with other steel, or the material rusting.

            I could heat treat a piece at 950F and see if it behaves like 17-4/15-5PH.

            I don't need the certs - just getting tired of "mystery" metal. This is a nice piece; I'd like to know what it is to make the right choices with use, machining, and heat treatment.
            Last edited by lakeside53; 05-21-2010, 01:55 AM.


            • #7
              I do not believe the QQ-S-763 Spec applies to 17-4/15-5

              Just the 410, 416 and 440. Cond. A is annealed as stated before. I forgot about the scrap yard idea. Quite a few of them have the hand held testers now. In order to get the best prices from the mills, it is important to them to know what the different alloys are that they are sending to the mills.

              Fish is right, for a couple bucks most scrap yards will gladly tell you what alloy you have. However some of those testers only give you a basic answer, such as "Aluminum", "Steel", "Bass/Bronze", etc....They don't tell you which alloy you have. It depends how advanced the yard wants to be.


              • #8
                I did find two large sellers listing 763B as part of the 17-4 spec, but of course that doesn't mean it's a reality.

                Considering the surface corrosion, I'm leaning towards the 400 series. I have some known 416, 440C and 420 pieces - I'll turn them as a comparision.

                I do have a scrap run to make soon. I'll take a sample with me and see if they play nice.