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Hey guys, so last night I went down to my local rail way depot and picked up a BUNCH of spikes, large bolts, drill bits, a track joiner and E-Clips.

Gave the boys down there a slab (case of beer for you american boys) and got talking about smithing with them, scored myself an invite to come down anytime and pick more stuff! Never ending scrap metal down there!

 

My question though, is thus: this is a Pandrol E-Clip. Its kind of like the 'new school rr spike', used to fix track to the new concrete sleepers.

eclip.jpg

 

I've looked on Pandrol's website and it says they are "made from high quality spring steel".

 

Does anybody know how "high quality"? I know that scrap like this is sometimes a mystery, but I thought I would ask anyway. If its ok steel, there are literally hundreds of used clips at their depot

 

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This is possibly what you might be looking for: ftp://metrostlouis.org/UMSL%20Interlocking%20Track%20Materials/02857-001-SC%20Pandrol%20Clips%20%28app%29.pdf

 

short version: there is an Nucor assay for , what I believe , are the clips, the Model # match.

 

Steel might be SAE 9259 modified which seems like 5160 without the Cr.

 

I could be completely wrong here, but really, your best bet is to spark some and forge some then try a simple heat treat. Are they plated for corrosion resistance?

Edited by Mark Gottesman
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That's fantastic. Thanks heaps mark. Seems like it could be a reasonably good type of steel! does the subtraction of the Cr have any adverse effect? My Knowledge on the elements and their effect on steel are still severely lacking...

 

Not entire sure if they are coated Mark. I would imagine they would be, some are old and rusted, but the newer ones have a black coating of some description I think? (I'm not at home right now to check)

Edited by Brad Adams
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Just as a small side note...this is a picture of what I collected at the rail depot with a 2lb hammer for scale. 10 Drill bits, 31 E-clips, 71 RR spikes, a whole bag of roughly 15cm straight clips of some description and a few big bolts that I though MUST be useful for something? Never would have thought they would give me as much freedom as they did. Basically just said "here is the steel. go for it" and left! If I had a bigger car at the time I would have got heaps more...but this is plenty.

 

add7b73f-b1fc-4a55-8575-e9f52ada933d_zps

Edited by Brad Adams
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Great score!

 

If they are 9259/9260, it works and heat-treats almost exactly like 5160, and is a VERY tough steel. I have used it in leaf spring form for swords and large knives, it's pretty much indestructible if treated properly. Look at the 5160 entry in the "Heat Treating by alloy" section for specifics.

 

The Cr in 5160 just promotes deeper hardening. 9259/9260 will be a little shallower-hardening, which means you can almost get a hamon-like effect with it. Almost... The 92 in the alloy number just means it has silicon instead of chromium for toughness and ductility.

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Great score!

 

If they are 9259/9260, it works and heat-treats almost exactly like 5160, and is a VERY tough steel. I have used it in leaf spring form for swords and large knives, it's pretty much indestructible if treated properly. Look at the 5160 entry in the "Heat Treating by alloy" section for specifics.

 

The Cr in 5160 just promotes deeper hardening. 9259/9260 will be a little shallower-hardening, which means you can almost get a hamon-like effect with it. Almost... The 92 in the alloy number just means it has silicon instead of chromium for toughness and ductility.

 

Thanks for that Alan, super happy that I've picked up some very decent steel for free. And even if I ever manage to use it all...there is unlimited left at the depot!

 

I did have a look at the heat treating thread, but I still need to learn to make knives! Haha. Hence the RR spikes. Practice with them and them pull out the better stuff later.

 

Will the lack of Cr effect the corrosion resistance at all? I had a look on various sites after Mark's questions about the coating and a few of them said that having Cr in the steel makes it more resistant to corrosion?

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Chromium only makes a big difference for corrosion resistance if it's seriously high, like over 8% total. 5160 has very little more corrosion resistance than any other non-stainless low alloy steel, with only 0.7-0.9% Cr. That's just enough to make it deep-hardening. Since there's less than ~0.6% carbon the Cr doesn't even contribute to carbide formation very much.

 

I think you'll be happy with those clips, once your arm forgives you for trying to hammer them into barstock by hand. ;) Silicon makes for a TOUGH steel.

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Well I'm a pretty big guy who doesn't mind some hard work. Maybe I'll even use straightening and drawing them out as practice at perfecting my hammer strokes....or get someone else with a bigger hammer to hit it for me!

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