Steel is recognized as the modern metal used in almost every facet of the todays world. With its roots dating back to the discovery of iron ore several thousand years ago, it is relatively young in the forms in which we are most familiar. It was not until the invention of the Bessemer process in the mid 1800’s did steel become the manufacturing staple that led to the industrial revolution.
Iron is alloyed with carbon and other elements such as manganese, nickel, chromium, tungsten and other elements such as phosphorous, sulfur and silicon to make myriad of alloys available today. The specific percentage mixtures of elements gives each alloy its unique characteristics. In some cases, lead may be added to make the steel softer to increase machinability and improve surface finishing. In others, higher concentrations of carbon are added to allow the further strengthening of the material through heat treating.
On an annual per ton basis, steel is the world’s most widely produced metal. Produced in sheet, plates, rods, shapes, castings and forgings, steel is also one of the most versatile metals available. Most alloys can be sawcut, lasercut, waterjetted, stamped, machined, and welded with standard metalworking equipment. In almost every case some measure of metal deburring or custom metal finishing will be required to prepare the components for the next step in fabrication.
Steel is used in almost all industries including construction, automotive, aerospace, locomotives, fasteners, shipbuilding and durable household goods like refrigerators and washing machines. Many of the super alloys are used in medical instruments, hydraulics, aerospace, electromagnets and firearms manufacture.
ISO Finishing has a wide breath of steel finishing experience working with many of today’s steel alloys. As an example, vibratory finishing may be the best method for radiusing edges and descaling a heat treated die set used in food production. In another precision application, such as surface finishing of gears for automotive manufacturers, steel polishing with the proper tumbling media and compounds will be the most effective means of polishing the parts prior to plating.
From laser cut components for military vehicles and firearms to stamped assemblies for OEM’s, we have the steel polishing equipment and steel finishing processes in place to make every project a success.