Heat and metal products are known to go together in many circumstances, with heat serving as one of many extreme conditions several metals can withstand. That said, metals do all have a point at which they can no longer withstand extreme heat and will begin to melt – and this is known as the metal melting point.
At Wasatch Steel, we’ll happily explain melting points and temperature ranges for any of our steel pipe, steel tubing, steel sheet or other steel products. Why does melting point matter within the steel and metal world, and what are some of the common melting points generally seen in popular metals? Let’s take a look.
As we touched on above, a metal’s melting temperature, also called its melting point in scientific circles, is the temperature at which the metal begins to transform from its solid phase into a liquid phase. At the precise melting temperature, these two states both exist together in equilibrium.
Heat will be continuously added from this point, however, though it will not raise the actual temperature – it will simply cause more and more of the metal to transition to liquid state. Once the metal is completely liquid, additional heat may be added to raise its temperature again.
There are several temperature benchmarks a given metal may hit while being heated or taken through a given application, but melting temperature is generally considered one of the most important. One reason for this is due to component failure – many metals fail before the actual melting point, as well, and understanding when this happens for a given metal is very important for ensuring the part in question is still serving its purpose.
In addition, almost all metals are at their most formable when they’re in liquid state. Processes like smelting, fusion welding and casting all require metals to be melted to be carried out, and this means knowing their melting temperature so you can select appropriate equipment for whichever process you’re going to use.
Generally, stainless steel’s melting point begins at 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit and extends to 2,785 degrees. This will depend in large part on the alloy involved, however, a factor you’ll have to pay close attention to.
Carbon steel, on the other hand, has a melting point just a bit higher. It begins at 2,597 degrees Fahrenheit and extends to 2,804 degrees – though again, carbon steel may have various different alloys involved, and this number will vary slightly. For a longer list of metal melting points, view the bottom of our previous blog entry.
For more on steel and metal melting temperatures and why they matter, or to learn about any of our steel products or services, speak to the staff at Wasatch Steel today.