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Three manufacturing procedures have been developed to produce bearing steels of varied cost and quality requirements: argon ladle refining, providing the lowest cost route for general bearing applications in C-Mn steels; argon ladle refining under full vacuum, for more specialized bearing applications in C-Mn and Ni-Cr-Mo alloy steels; and argon ladle refining under full vacuum plus vacuum arc remelting, for the highest cost and most critical bearing applications. Product qualities are discussed in terms of mechanical properties (hardenabilities, ideal diameters), chemistry control (C, Mn, S, O, Ti) and steel cleanliness (ASTM E 45, SAM, and AMS stepdown) ratings.
bearing steels, chemistry control, cleanliness standards, hardenability control, inclusion ratings, ladle refining, vacuum treatment
Manager, Process and Product Development, Atlas Specialty Steels Division, Rio Algom Limited, Welland, ON