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1144 vs "real" "Stressproof"

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  • 1144 vs "real" "Stressproof"

    I got some 1144 through (IIRC) McMaster. Plan was to make some feedscrews with it, because it supposedly will give a good finish.

    I have not been overly impressed with how it machines, or perhaps more accurately, the surface finish. Metal removal is OK, but surface finish is well below that found with 12L14 or similar, which it was suggested to me is similar.

    This doesn't bode well for the thread-cutting (acme LH 0.437 diameter) that will be done later. I'd rate it as on a par with O-1 or the like for surface.

    Looking at the Niagara site, it appears that 1144 is NOT "stressproof".... "Some" 1144 is used to MAKE "stressproof", but the closest spec to Stressproof seems to be A311.

    OTOH, the chemical composition appears to be basically the same for 1144 and "stresssproof", which makes sense if the 1144 is treated in special ways to make it into "Stressproof".

    People here (per a search on "1144") seem to treat the two as the "same thing", so has your experience been good as far as surface finish with both?

    Does the post-drawing heat treatment make a big difference in the machinability of the real "Stressproof"? makes sense that it could.

    I obviously have a longish part, but I am using a follow rest. No it isn't fouling up the finish.... I checked.


    According to the McMaster site, 1144 has zero silicon, but per Niagara, Stressproof (and presumably their 1144 also) has 0.15 to 0.35%. Might that make a difference?
    Last edited by J Tiers; 01-30-2014, 09:51 PM.

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  • #2
    To compound your confusion, Online Metals sells "stressproof equivalent"


    • #3
      As I understand it, it's the heat treating process that makes it "Stressproof". I have never turned plain 1144 but my experience with with a "stressproof equivalent" was that it turned and milled very easily.

      These rack teeth and splines were milled in one pass with a hand-ground single-point form tool. The parts shown are both made from stressproof. My test runs on 1018 and some other mystery metal did not look nearly as good.


      • #4
        Originally posted by mrriggs View Post

        Looks very nice no matter what you made them from!


        • #5
          IIRC, "Stressproof" is a trademarked name of a steel made by LaSalle Steel. Another steel, ETD 150, machines very similar to "Stressproof". Both steels are very nice to work with.


          • #6
            I cannot recall ever knowingly machining "1144".

            I have however worked with a fair amount of "Stressproof", and it always machines like a dream.

            Short, broken "sixes" and "nines" without really trying, unless it is a drilling operation where short coils are the result until the feed rate is kicked up enough to produce shorter bits.

            If it isn't nearly a mirror finish after turning, a quick swipe with some gritty cloth will cause it to shine.

            I have read on LaSalle's website before about the process to make it. I seem to remember something about pulling through dies under "heavy draft". Whatever they do seems to make a good product.

            I don't think it is highly recommended, but I have welded on it before with good results. Never in particularly critical applications, but have never had a failure.



            • #7
              The leaded steels have produced a much better surface finish for me. They both machine nicely. As Dave says Stressproof produces short broken "sixes" and "nines". The Stressproof I have used was from Speedy Metals.
              Byron Boucher
              Burnet, TX


              • #8
                This McMaster 1144 machines OK, but tools that give a very good surface on other steels just rip up the 1144 giving a surface closer to rebar than nice steel, despite the good short chips and easy cutting.

                Keep eye on ball.
                Hashim Khan


                • #9
                  If you were seeking the machinability and surface finish of 12L14, why not use that. It is quite frequently used for feedscrews.

                  Stressproof is a Lasalle tradename. It has sulfur content which imoarts the good machining properties.

                  Jim H.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by JCHannum View Post
                    If you were seeking the machinability and surface finish of 12L14, why not use that. It is quite frequently used for feedscrews.
                    I am well aware of Niagara Lasalle, I got the information I provided above from their website.

                    As to why not use 12L14?

                    Simple..... I wasn't "seeking it's properties". It was suggested to me (RIGHT HERE ON THIS SITE) that the 1144 was *more suitable for feedscrews*, and that it would give similar surface finishes to 12L14 or other free machining steels. Indeed, I am seeing pictures along those same lines right here in this thread.

                    Are you questioning the many folks who have made those statements? Don't ask me, ask them.

                    As to the sulfur content, I DID happen to mention that the chemical composition of the 1144 was identical to "Stressproof", AND that the Niagara Lasalle website states that the difference between 1144 and Stressproof is the post draw heat treatment. McMaster mentioned zero as opposed to 0.15% silicon, but McMaster isn't the most trustworthy source of composition info.

                    That composition specifically included the sulfur content. ALL listed contents of the 1144 matched the same elements in Niagara Lasalle Stressproof, and the McMaster claim of non-content of silicon is likely in error.

                    My basic question, asked in the original post, was: "Does the post-drawing heat treatment make a big difference in the machinability of the real 'Stressproof'? "

                    In fact, the machinability of teh 1144 is pretty much as described by others. It is the surface finish that does not seem to match the glowing descriptions.

                    Keep eye on ball.
                    Hashim Khan


                    • #11

                      Are you sure that you indeed have 1144. Could they have sent you steel from bin 12 instead of bin 14. Buy from someone else a test piece and see if it machines different. Cutting fluid and tool shape are the same as other steels for me. Usually heavy oil and slower speed work well along with very sharp tools set at center or no more than + .002. Suspect that your tool is a little bit high which rubs and tears. Look at your tool with a magnifying glass just below the cutting edge. If it is shinny that is a sign of rubbing before cutting. It then rubs digs in and tears repeating as you cut.



                      • #12
                        I ordered some 1144 from someplace, a couple of years ago. It machined so nicely that I too ordered a couple of 4 foot stick from McMaster Carr . These did not machine as nicely. Seemed to have inconsistent heat treating. There were tough spots and half an inch away it was fine.
                        I agree that what ever they have is not the real deal.


                        • #13
                          According to the McMaster Carr site, the 1144 is stress relieved to minimize warping during machining.

                          According to a Republic Steel handbook on machining data I have, 1144 annealed has about a 10% higher machinability rating than plain 1144, 85% vs 76%, based on B1112 as 100%.

                          The handbook does not give a machinability rating for 12L14, but cutting speeds and feeds given are roughly double those for 1144 annealed. Speedy Metals states 12L14 machinability rating is 193% of B1112, which is consistant with the Republic information.

                          So, yes, it would appear that the heat treat does moderatley improve the machinability of 1144, but it does not approach the machinability of 12L14.
                          Jim H.


                          • #14
                            Overall, the machinability and quality of common alloys has declined severely since most of it is now being domestically produced in Nucor mills from remelt. The 12L14 available these days is total garbage compared to what we had 15 years ago. Same with 1018. 1144 is probably the same situation. The "old" charts on machinability don't always apply anymore.

                            If you want the good stuff you have to pay your money. Don't expect plain 1144 or "stressproof" equivalent to be near as good.


                            • #15
                              I have some 226M44 bar which is a UK equivalent of 1144 (basically a free-machining EN8 for the UK contingent) and it does machine like butter, but I completely agree that the surface finish is in no way nice & smooth & shiny. You can polish it up but it won't give the sort of finish that leaded mild steel or even a nice alloy steel like EN19T/EN4T (4140 & 4340) will produce on the lathe.
                              I even get a much nicer finish on O1 or 304 stainless than the 1144 equivalent.