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Metal Steam Treating Services

Sun Steel provides metal steam treating services specializing in various commercial and industrial tooling applications. Steam treating achieves significant material benefits for a wide range of metal parts, improving both surface hardness and wear resistance while enhancing lubricant-retaining properties.

Sun Steel’s state-of-the-art facility utilizes a steam treating furnace with a capacity of 22″ diameter x 36″ deep (56cm x 92cm), capable of processing 800 lb/load.

  • Improves wear resistance, thus contributing significantly to increased service life.
  • Improves corrosion resistance – an especially important benefit for users whose parts are inventoried for extended periods of time.
  • Provides a uniform blue-black finish, enhancing aesthetic value.

An Overview of Sun Steel’s Steam Treating Services

How Does Steam Treating Work for Tool Steel?

While the process can vary depending upon the specific products and desired results, metal steam treating can be broken down into three general steps:

  1. To begin the steam treatment process, the component is air-heated to over 300ºF. While temperatures vary in this step depending on product application, temperatures generally exceed 700ºF in the initial heating stage before the part is exposed to steam. This is to prevent oxidation on the surface of the component.
  2. Once the desired temperature is reached, the part is treated to a dry steam. In this stage, any condensate that results from the steam cooling process is allowed to drain from the part before further processing, thus the term “dry” steam. Otherwise the water will later react with iron on the surface, creating rust or discoloration.
  3. To undergo the full steam treatment process, the product is then heated to temperatures generally exceeding 1000ºF. This temperature is held until the desired material properties are achieved. Within the controlled steam environment, the metal’s surface properties are enhanced and a thin oxide layer is created.

What Is the Metal Steam Treating Process?

Steam treating provides your steel products with improved corrosion resistance and wear resistance. Surface hardness is also increased, along with material density, thus minimizing the porosity of the metal. Additionally, the steam treatment process yields an attractive surface finish for premium aesthetics. Finally, the process produces an oxide film on the surface of the part, thus enhancing its ability to retain lubricants.

When applied to low- and medium-density powder metal parts, the oxide film tends to seal the part’s pores. This appreciably increases part hardness and compressive strength. Generally, the lower the density of the powder metal part, the greater the improvement due to the larger number of interconnected voids.

The Advantages of Steam Treated Tool Steel

  • Improves both surface hardness and wear resistance.
  • Maximizes surface density and minimizes porosity.
  • Yields a premium aesthetic surface finish.
  • Produces a controlled oxide layer enhances lubricant-retaining properties of the component surface.

Steam Treating for Aerospace and Industrial Tooling Applications

Based out of South Lyon, Michigan, our state-of-the-art facility is capable of processing steel tooling and industrial components weighing up to 30 tons. An ISO 9001:2015 certified company, Sun Steel has delivered quality-backed metal steam treating solutions for some of the industry’s most challenging thermal processing applications.

Our diverse project experience includes precision aerospace components, steam treated medical instruments, defense and MIL-spec equipment, as well as steam treated steel products for the energy sector. Get in touch to discover all of the advantages of Sun Steel’s superior metal steam treatment services.