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EN24T or P20 steel - anvil material

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Richard Harris 523/07/2018 09:55:12
112 forum posts

I've found a steel supplier near me who is selling offcuts of both EN24T and P20 steel. I'm thinking of buying a small-medium sized block and mounting it up as an anvil.

I'm not familiar with either steel so wanted to ask if anyone had experience with heat treatment or wear resistance properties in this sort of application?

Typical anaylsis of P20:

https://www.westyorkssteel.com/tool-steel/p20/

Typical analysis of EN24T:

https://www.westyorkssteel.com/alloy-steel/engineering-steel/en24t/

They both have a similar carbon content, with the EN24T being a bit more expensive as you can probably guess.

I've done a lot of heat treatment so I think I'll be fine with that, but I am wondering, do you think a steel like this would offer suitable wear resistance? Or would the carbon content be too low? In which case, I could just as well buy mild steel and weld a hardened tool steel face plate to the top.

Thoughts welcome.

Richard Harris 523/07/2018 09:56:34
112 forum posts

.

Edited By Richard Harris 5 on 23/07/2018 09:56:52

Richard Harris 523/07/2018 10:13:35
112 forum posts

Hang on, it seems the T in EN24T means it's already hardened and tempered.

But with a hardness in the range of 250-300HB / 25-32 HRC - that seems very low in hardness? Do you think it would "ding" up too easily, if used as an anvil?

Mark Rand23/07/2018 17:58:50
798 forum posts

The T condition is hard enough for a fair number of uses and, importantly, transforms the somewhat gummy annealed alloy into something that machines very nicely, albeit with much production of blue chips and burned forearmscrying.

EN19 or even EN16 would be better in the ultimate case, since they are slightly more shock resistant, but unless you are the metal smith version of RoboCop it ain't going to make a difference.

If you have enough insulating firebricks and torches, you can harden the EN24 to about 52HRc. A decent sized anvil won't harden all the way through, but that doesn't matter. If you've got a big enough rosebud tip and can afford the oxygen and acetylene, you could glame harden the striking surfaces to the same degree as well.

PS:- Where is this magical steel stockholder? Some of us might want to make a trip to visit them!

Chris Evans 623/07/2018 19:32:55
1500 forum posts

P20 is usually supplied around 290/330 Brinell. Flame hardens to 60RC locally with good core strength.

Used a lot in the plastic injection mould game. Check if it is werkstoff 2311 or 2312. the2312 spec has added sulphur to ease machining but ok for your use.

ronan walsh23/07/2018 20:51:29
539 forum posts
32 photos

Lovely steel the two of them. I bought a slab of p20 last year for a job, its a nice fine grained steel, not the easiest to machine. I also used en24t a few years ago to make a central flywheel for a norton motorcycle crankshaft. Again really nice steel, found it slightly easier to work than the p20.

A bit of a shame using either to bash on imho. For an anvil, i was able to find a foot of railway track, its a ready made anvil.

Richard Harris 524/07/2018 08:50:58
112 forum posts
Posted by Mark Rand on 23/07/2018 17:58:50:

The T condition is hard enough for a fair number of uses and, importantly, transforms the somewhat gummy annealed alloy into something that machines very nicely, albeit with much production of blue chips and burned forearmscrying.

EN19 or even EN16 would be better in the ultimate case, since they are slightly more shock resistant, but unless you are the metal smith version of RoboCop it ain't going to make a difference.

If you have enough insulating firebricks and torches, you can harden the EN24 to about 52HRc. A decent sized anvil won't harden all the way through, but that doesn't matter. If you've got a big enough rosebud tip and can afford the oxygen and acetylene, you could glame harden the striking surfaces to the same degree as well.

PS:- Where is this magical steel stockholder? Some of us might want to make a trip to visit them!

Mark, they're based in the West Midlands, just outside of Wolverhampton. Is that any use to you? Just let me know and I can send over their details - but I suspect the nearest steel stockist near, anyone, is the best place to go, because then you can just go and look at what they have and take it back yourself. Doesn't really make sense to ship anything like this. If I do go, it'll be in a few weeks at least, back to the workshop in Shropshire (could store something there for anyone, if needed, wouldn't be a problem).

EN24 to HRC 52, eh? Where did you get this info? I tried to get heat treatment info on it but I couldn't find anything very specific. I wonder how much I could temper it down from 52 to get enough toughness, without making it too soft. I fear in its "T" state, it might just be too soft... I have a small forge but depending on the size, I could sort something out - just build a charcoal fire with an air.

Richard Harris 524/07/2018 08:54:10
112 forum posts
Posted by Chris Evans 6 on 23/07/2018 19:32:55:

P20 is usually supplied around 290/330 Brinell. Flame hardens to 60RC locally with good core strength.

Used a lot in the plastic injection mould game. Check if it is werkstoff 2311 or 2312. the2312 spec has added sulphur to ease machining but ok for your use.

Can you elaborate what you mean by flame hardening? I am not familiar with this. All of the hardening I have done has involved taking the steel to a critical temperature (of some variance) then quenching it into a medium (water, oil, air).

A part of me wonders if the P20 might be the best bet, simply because the EN24T probably isn't hard enough to not "ding" up from any mis-hits or my clumsyness. It would require me to heat treat it though, which I'd be able to do but would be more work...

The P20 does also cost less..

Richard Harris 524/07/2018 09:00:20
112 forum posts
Posted by ronan walsh on 23/07/2018 20:51:29:

Lovely steel the two of them. I bought a slab of p20 last year for a job, its a nice fine grained steel, not the easiest to machine. I also used en24t a few years ago to make a central flywheel for a norton motorcycle crankshaft. Again really nice steel, found it slightly easier to work than the p20.

A bit of a shame using either to bash on imho. For an anvil, i was able to find a foot of railway track, its a ready made anvil.

Thanks Rowan. I'm actually using a foot of rail track right now! The problem being that it was strangely soft and dinged up very easily. So I welded a foot of an old leaf spring on to (about 1/4" thick), which I had straightened out. I've got it bolted down very firmly to a large block of wood and it's very stable, I feel like I can do good work on it really. The difference in performance is remarkable, only it's not absolutely perfectly flat or clean... the appeal of having a fresh and clean large block of steel is appealing to me. Don't really fancy an actual anvil - too conventional!

Edited By Richard Harris 5 on 24/07/2018 09:08:46

Richard Harris 524/07/2018 09:07:57
112 forum posts

Just for reference, I was quoted £68 for a 110x120x210 mm block of EN24T. I was thinking if I could find something perhaps double that size it would have a decent amount of mass and surface area to work on, and come in at a decent price too.

 

Just to add, the P20 it seems is 1.2312 (P20S), which is already hardened and tempered. I am guessing these steels are hardened and tempered down a lot for a specific application (so they're harder, but still machinable). P20S is around 280/325 H.B., which again is low (easily machined). But given that it's a simpler steel and the info on heat treatment seems to be easier to find, I think I'll go with that - given that it costs less (about 30% less), and is heat treatable, and comes hardened to some extent. 

 

If it's hard enough to resist "dings", great, but if not I should be able to harden and temper it well enough myself.

Edited By Richard Harris 5 on 24/07/2018 09:32:59

Edited By Richard Harris 5 on 24/07/2018 09:33:24

Ian S C24/07/2018 11:00:55
avatar
7447 forum posts
230 photos

P-20 steel. As bought it is tempered at 482 - 593*C, giving a Rockwell Hardness of 37 - 28.

Anneal at 760 - 788*C, cool in furnace at 4*C or slower.

Hardening: heat to 871 - 899*C in the carburizing medium, then heat to 816 - 871*C to harden, hold fot 15 minutes then quench in oil.

Just a bit of useful trivia for someone.

Ian S C

richardandtracy24/07/2018 11:40:33
avatar
938 forum posts
10 photos

The Woolman & Mottram book 'Mechanical and Physical Properties of the British Standard EN Steels' goes to exhaustive lengths on En24 and how it may be heat treated, detailing it's properties over 38 pages of the book. Leads to the conclusion it's 'Good Stuff' . Worth borrowing the book from the library if you're interested enough.

Regards,

Richard.

Mark Rand24/07/2018 20:39:14
798 forum posts
Posted by Richard Harris 5 on 24/07/2018 08:50:58:

 

Mark, they're based in the West Midlands, just outside of Wolverhampton. Is that any use to you? Just let me know and I can send over their details - but I suspect the nearest steel stockist near, anyone, is the best place to go, because then you can just go and look at what they have and take it back yourself. Doesn't really make sense to ship anything like this. If I do go, it'll be in a few weeks at least, back to the workshop in Shropshire (could store something there for anyone, if needed, wouldn't be a problem).

 

EN24 to HRC 52, eh? Where did you get this info? I tried to get heat treatment info on it but I couldn't find anything very specific. I wonder how much I could temper it down from 52 to get enough toughness, without making it too soft. I fear in its "T" state, it might just be too soft... I have a small forge but depending on the size, I could sort something out - just build a charcoal fire with an air.

 

Yes, I would be interested in them. I live less than a mile from Acentia, who used to be Macready's and used to get steel from them when they were still Macready's. But the current firm reckons that they'll sell orders from a tonne up and I really don't want to order in those quantities!

 

I can't remember where I got the original information from (probably Macready's 'orange book' ). When I started rebuilding my Hardinge HLV I soon realised that I needed to re-manufacture all the gears and shafts in the apron gearbox. They were a bit shagged:-

 

I settled on EN24 based on it's overall properties and carried out a test of hardening it in a salt bath. Literally, molten table salt that liquifies at 802°C, which is conveniently close to the 850°C needed for the hardening. After quenching in heated oil and tempering in the kitchen oven to 200°C, I took the test piece into the Metallurgy Lab at work. Their Vickers testing machine came up with 52Hrc, after translation of scales. After that, I made all the gears and shafts. I still used a salt bath for heating but used room temperature oil for the quenching.

 

What milling/shaping facilities have you got?

Edited By Mark Rand on 24/07/2018 20:40:22

Chris Evans 624/07/2018 23:10:08
1500 forum posts

Richard, the flame hardening I mentioned with P20 is just heat locally to red head or weld the steel and the surface hardness is like glass. We used to use the process to stop edge wear on some moulds. P20 responds well to nitriding giving good core strength and wear resistance on the surface.

Richard Harris 526/07/2018 11:14:59
112 forum posts
Posted by Chris Evans 6 on 24/07/2018 23:10:08:

Richard, the flame hardening I mentioned with P20 is just heat locally to red head or weld the steel and the surface hardness is like glass. We used to use the process to stop edge wear on some moulds. P20 responds well to nitriding giving good core strength and wear resistance on the surface.

Very useful to know, thank you Chris.

Richard Harris 526/07/2018 11:26:43
112 forum posts
Posted by Mark Rand on 24/07/2018 20:39:14:

What milling/shaping facilities have you got?

Edited By Mark Rand on 24/07/2018 20:40:22

Very useful info, thanks Mark. I've just sent you a PM with the company details.

In terms of milling and shaping... it is very, well, agricultural over here . I have a few hammers... This is for use as an anvil, so I'm really just looking to buy a large block and use it for it's mass, hardness and flatness.

I have a very small lathe & mill, a 150x2000 linisher. Lately it's mostly the mill (for simple drilling and slot milling tasks), the linisher (for grinding hardened steel) and the forge (for making new shapes) that gets the most use. I'd like to use the lathe, but it has an electrical problem and I havne't had the time to fix it yet...

Daniel Burrows16/07/2019 18:44:29
1 forum posts

Hi Richard ,

I'm aware this post is quite old now but I was wondering how you got on with the EN24t or p20 .

I'm also in the Midlands so would be keen to know this supplier of offcuts if you could share please !

Thanks

Dan

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