FREE CUTTING MILD ENGINEERING STEEL
EN1A steel (or its equivalent, 230M07 steel), is a commercial cold drawn bright mild steel product which is known as a ‘free cutting’ material because of its suitability for use on both CNC machines and automatic lathes. EN1A is ideal for use in the production of repetitively turned parts and should be considered for applications where excellent machinability is a driving factor.
Normally supplied in bright form, this non-alloyed, low carbon-manganese engineering material can also be case hardened to promote greater wear resistance although the product is not recommended for general case hardening work. Available in both leaded and unleaded versions, increased lead content enhances overall machinability making EN1A a good choice for intricate machining and drilling ops.
The positive machinability characteristics of EN1A also results in the extension and longevity of tooling life which makes this engineering steel a cost-effective solution. It is particularly suited to component manufacture where the product is not subjected to high service stresses and where a superior finish is required under high volume production rates. It is recommended that EN1A (230M07) is machined at high speeds with automatic feeds using a general-purpose carbide tool. Most machining lubricants are effective during the manufacturing process although it should be noted that cutting oils can cause an amount of surface staining.
The inclusion of manganese and sulphur in the products’ chemical composition actually acts as a ‘chip breaker’ which allows it to be fed and machined at high speeds without impacting on overall tooling life.
In comparison with general mild steel, EN1A (230M07) offers numerous benefits including a cleaner finish, increased straightness and much tighter sectional tolerances. As EN1A is cold drawn it can be brought much closer to the finished machine size and this has a positive impact on overall machining costs. Cold drawn products of this type also offer a significant increase in strength when compared to similar hot rolled bar products. Another benefit is that Thames Stockholders stock EN1A (230M07) in a broad range of shapes and sizes which, due to the availability of incremental sizes, may negate the need for customers to machine the material down prior to fabrication.
Although EN1A can be welded it is not recommended as the percentage lead content makes this difficult. It is also recommended that the product is not utilised in the production of hollow parts since the traverse properties of the product are not so good. Apart from excellent machinability EN1A also offers reasonable ductility and strength.
EN1A (230M07) can be used in a broad range of commercial applications which include:
- Control linkages, shafts, low stress hubs, casings and handles
- Brake hose ends, hydraulic parts
- Brake pistons, wheel nuts and inserts
- Gearbox components (if case-hardened)
- Padlock shackles, vice jaws
- Studs, nuts and bolts