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Whoops... I neglected to label some of my steel stock

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  • Whoops... I neglected to label some of my steel stock

    2 years ago I bought some steel... some just to have around, and some for a particular project. I had it sorted in my head, but didn't label it right away. Long story short... I no longer remember what I bought.

    It's not a lot of metal in the grand scheme of things, but I'd like to figure out what it is if I can.

    I'm 99.44% sure it's a mix of A36 hot-rolled, 1018 cold-rolled, & 1018 cold-rolled stress-relieved. Is there a reliable way of figuring out which is which?

    The rounds in the pics are 1", .75", .625", & .5". The rectangles are .5" x 1", & .5" x 1.25".


  • #2
    The shiny stuff is cold rolled.

    The black stuff is hot rolled.

    No idea how you tell stress-relieved cold rolled from regular.
    Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.


    • #3
      Do you have an invoice that might help you based on dimensions? If you bought it online it might be in your email.


      • #4
        Well, the A36 has de-carb, mill scale.
        To tell the difference with 1018 rolled vs. stress relieved, do unbalanced machining to it, like cut a keyway one side, mill one side, etc.
        Plain cold rolled will warp.


        • #5
          First, can you find the order or the shipping docs? That should tell you. I usually keep all receipts.

          Second, if you purchased from an on-line supplier, they may have a history of your orders, it may even be on-line so you may not even have to call and bother anyone there. Just look it up. I just pulled up my order history at McMaster for the past several years with little effort. If not, you could call.

          Third, look up "spark test".

          Beyond that it could get expensive. Like sending a sample to a lab for analysis.
          Last edited by Paul Alciatore; 03-23-2016, 06:10 PM.
          Paul A.

          Make it fit.
          You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!


          • #6
            Thanks for the info.

            I bought it at a semi-local place, before I had an account with them, so they'd have no record, and I don't have the receipt. I think I can tell the hot vs cold now. I'll see what I can tell from some unbalanced machining and spark tests.

            I promise to pay attention and label my stuff, I swear!



            • #7
              Spark test between A36 hot-rolled, 1018 cold-rolled, & 1018 cold-rolled stress-relieved? They are all going to look the same.


              • #8
                A while ago I started stamping the ends of any unused lengths of metal before putting them "somewhere safe" ;-)
                If you benefit from the Dunning-Kruger Effect you may not even know it ;-)


                • #9
                  Last pic... Stuff on the left looks like stressproof (1144). The give away is the glassy smooth, brownish, mill scale. It will machine beautifully, but isn't weldable. Stressproof is almost always very uniform in dimension and about .005" under it's nominal size.

                  Stuff on the right looks like cold rolled 1018.


                  • #10
                    Agree with Lakeside about the spark test.
                    Although 1144 isn't a welded construction candidate, it can have welded collars or keepers (low strength use). Use a ductile filler and low heat to avoid churning sulfur.


                    • #11
                      OK... I did some machining on the 1" diameter steel bars.

                      Link to picture --->

                      I don't find any warpage with what I did. I milled a flat spot, then went a little over half way through each one. Maybe I didn't go deep enough... What do you think?



                      • #12
                        After buying a hunk of what I know to be 1144 Stress Proof, I'm confident that I have my mystery metals A36 - 1018 - and 1144 sorted out. Next time, I'll make sure it new metal gets marked and stored in the right spot.



                        • #13
                          Don't feel bad, I've done the same thing. Not just with steel stock, but with hardware as well. You always think you'll remember what it is and what you bought it for but sometimes a few years late or more, you can't remember.
                          Now I mark all my stock, what material it is, where I bought it and what project I used it on.
                          I do the same with any hardware, especially specialty fasteners and fittings.