Standard Historical Last Updated: Mar 07, 2022
ASTM A646/A646M-17

Standard Specification for Premium Quality Alloy Steel Blooms and Billets for Aircraft and Aerospace Forgings


This specification deals with the standard requirements for premium quality alloy steel semifinished rolled or forged blooms and billets for reforging into aircraft and aerospace critical parts such as landing-gear forgings. Covered here are three basic classifications of steel, namely: Class I, steel manufactured by vacuum-induction melting or consumable-electrode vacuum melting process; Class II, air-melted steel manufactured by electric-furnace vacuum degassing process; Class III, air-melted steel manufactured by electric-furnace ladle refining and vacuum degassing processes. Steel materials shall be heat-treated and hot-worked by either hot rolling or forging. Alloy steels shall be examined by heat and product analyses and hardenability tests, and shall conform to chemical composition and maximum annealed Brinell hardness requirements. Quality evaluation tests, such as macrotech, microcleanliness, and nondestructive ultrasonic (both immersion and contact examination) inspection, shall be performed as well.


1.1 This specification covers premium quality alloy steel semifinished rolled or forged blooms and billets for reforging into critical parts such as aircraft landing-gear forgings.

1.2 Blooms and billets, hereinafter referred to as blooms, are semifinished steel products, hot rolled or forged to approximate cross-sectional dimensions. Blooms may be square, round, hexagonal, octagonal, or rectangular in section. For the purposes of this specification, minimum bloom section size will be 16 in.2 [103 cm2].

1.3 This specification covers two basic classifications of steel:

1.3.1 Class I—Vacuum-induction melted or consumable-electrode vacuum melted, or other suitable processes which will satisfy the quality requirements of this specification.

1.3.2 Class II—Air-melted vacuum degassed.

1.3.3 Class III—Air melted electric furnace ladle refined and vacuum degassed.

1.4 The values stated in either inch-pound or SI (metric) units are to be regarded separately as standards. Within the text and tables, the SI units are shown in brackets. The values stated in each system are not exact equivalents; therefore, each system shall be used independently of the other. Combining values from the two systems may result in nonconformance with the specification.

1.5 Unless the order specifies the applicable “M” specification the material shall be furnished to the inch-pound units.

1.6 This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.

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Book of Standards Volume: 01.05
Developed by Subcommittee: A01.06
Pages: 5
DOI: 10.1520/A0646_A0646M-17
ICS Code: 49.025.10