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Steel banding.

Is it spring steel?

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Bo'sun30/11/2021 19:32:50
619 forum posts
2 photos

I've saved some steel banding (minus the bent and mangled bits) from a couple of machine tools I've had delivered. It seemed a shame to throw it away. I've heard it mentioned as being "spring steel". Is that true? I guess there's different grades depending on it's use

old mart30/11/2021 19:40:06
3900 forum posts
268 photos

I don't think so, the blued colour might be fooling you. Whether it is high enough carbon content to be turned into springs by heat treating is anyones guess. It is certainly worth saving some, you never know when it might come in useful.

Edited By old mart on 30/11/2021 19:41:30

noel shelley30/11/2021 19:47:40
1442 forum posts
23 photos

Handy as shim stock ! Noel.

Pontius30/11/2021 19:56:52
10 forum posts
3 photos

I use a strip as a piston ring compressor. The ends are bent over to c90 degrees for holding between thumb and forefinger to allow me to compress the ring(s) as I lower the barrel on to the piston.

Far simpler, easier to use and cheaper than the commercial piston ring compressor I bought from Machine Mart some years ago!

Derek Lane30/11/2021 20:00:28
788 forum posts
175 photos

I have heard that it can be used to hold parallels in place when they are in the milling machine as there is enough spring to hold them against the vice jaws saves having to hold them there when having to do repeat operations.

bernard towers30/11/2021 23:53:32
689 forum posts
141 photos

Derek just use a bit of foam for that.

Luker01/12/2021 06:36:50
179 forum posts
145 photos

High tensile strapping works perfectly as springs, I've used it on a few builds. Also works as thin stiff angles where you don't want to go too thick, provided you bend perpendicular to the as-rolled direction. Makes nice stiff thin levers, but all shafts need to be hardened. Perfect for making thin ‘special’ spanners for difficult to get to spaces. Also good for special spring clamping tools like an injector cone removal tool. Stuff is gold!


Jon Lawes01/12/2021 07:48:21
991 forum posts

Good tip about the foam/springs to hold the parallels in place; I've tried growing a third arm to hold them but it hasn't happened yet!

Bo'sun01/12/2021 09:10:07
619 forum posts
2 photos

Thank you all,

It cuts easily with Gilbow tin snips, so I'll treat it as a relatively low carbon steel for small brackets and shims, etc.

You're probably right old mart, the blueing is likely only there to give some corrosion resistance while it's in storage and then in transit.

Nigel Bennett01/12/2021 09:41:54
460 forum posts
20 photos

I've tried hardening it - heating it to red and quenching in water. It does seem then to have better spring characteristics than the natural state. It certainly doesn't snap in half as it would for a high-carbon steel if quenched and not tempered. Both my last two locos have it for axle springs.

larry phelan 101/12/2021 13:42:51
1192 forum posts
15 photos

I have used it many times for holding down electric motors without feet.

Never had one shift yet. Well worth saving and often found in skips.

Nicholas Farr01/12/2021 15:05:20
3418 forum posts
1592 photos

Hi, the type of steel banding you have is produced for holding things together or onto a pallet of some type, it is produced with a high tensile strength with that in mind, it does have some spring characteristics, but unlike most leaf springs, it can be easily deformed and I think it wouldn't be much use if it were made to be of a true spring nature, correct heat treatment may make it suitable for springs, but I've never tried it myself. I have used it often for shims under gearbox's and electric motors and such like and even on my lathe tool post and it can easily made to length by folding the length you what, over on to it's self and flattening the fold out in a vice or just by hammering it flat, then when you prise it apart it will just break off.

Regards Nick.

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