Within both the steel and general metal world, there are several manufacturing or product types that will look relatively similar, but have important differences in properties and applications. A good example of this is within three round metal types that may appear somewhat similar to the naked eye: Drill rod, round bar and metal shafting.
At Wasatch Steel, we’re proud to offer quality steel products for a variety of needs and applications, including any of these round materials. While drill rod, round bar and shafting may indeed have some very general similarities, they’re actually very different and are used for a whole host of separate applications. Here are some basics on each.
Generally made from tool steel, drill rods are usually round but may also be found in square shapes after certain alternative fabrication processes. In many cases, drill rod will be tempered before machining, removing some of the hardness present and making the steel easier to work with.
Drill rods are often used for shafts, drill bits, taps, reamers and dowel pins. You may also see them used in hammers and punches. There are two manufacturing processes for drill rod:
Round bar refers to any long, cylindrical bar, and can be made with various steel types (hot-rolled, cold-rolled, stainless, alloy), plus aluminum, brass or even a few other metals. Its size can range from fractions of an inch up to 24 inches in some cases. Some basics on a few of the common material types for round bars:
Finally, shafting is any round bar that’s been made with precision, high-quality steel. Surfaces are polished to make sure they’re completely flawless, and these products are meant to last a long time in highly important industries like labs, motors, weather measuring and other similar areas. Extreme precision is required for producing shafting, which is why a process called inclusion hardening is used – this process retains the steel’s core properties while creating a magnetic field that makes it very hard and precise.
For more on drill rod, round bar and shafting, or to learn about any of our custom steel products or steel services, speak to the staff at Wasatch Steel today.