Steel profile

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A profile is a long material with a constant cross-section. Steel profiles are corresponding long materials made of this ferrous material.

Properties of steel

Steel is a material made of iron. Pure iron cannot be used for many purposes due to its brittleness and susceptibility to rust. Steel is a mixture of iron and carbon, which has much better properties than pig iron. Mixtures of metals are called "alloys". In addition to the carbon, other alloying substances are added to the steel. These give the material its elasticity and tensile strength. Steel is therefore particularly suitable for the production of profiles.

Production of steel profiles

Steel profiles are produced by extrusion or continuous casting. In extrusion, a block-shaped raw material is heated and pressed through a die. This process is suitable for the production of narrow profiles with small wall thicknesses. For the production of large and heavy profiles, liquid metal is filled into a die. The liquid metal runs through a hollow contour on the underside of the groove and ends in a counterbore punch. This plunger is slowly lowered. At the same time, the liquid metal is sprayed with water from the outside. It solidifies immediately. The solid part of the metal continues to seal the mould upwards. The lowering distance of the punch corresponds to the length of the finished profile. Continuously cast profiles are placed in an annealing furnace after the primary shaping. The annealing process reduces the tension created during cooling to the desired level.

Processing of steel profiles

Steel profiles are normal semi-finished products that can be processed in practically any way. Other typical processing methods for steel profiles are as follows:

  • Machining
  • Bending
  • Stretching

A steel profile can be provided with holes or recesses of any kind. With suitable machines and tools, small pressing and punching operations on profiles are also possible. Bending is the insertion of angles or radii. A wide range of processing machines and methods are available for this purpose. With the stretching of steel tubes, thin cannulas can be produced that cannot be extruded. However, this is only a small selection. Steel is a very versatile material that can be machined in numerous ways.

Stainless steel profiles

Stainless steel is a special form of steel. This material has two properties that distinguish it from normal steel:

  • corrosion-resistant
  • non-magnetic

However, stainless steel is much more expensive than normal steel. It is also not as easy to machine as normal steel. This does not always make it the better choice.