The Experts' Guide to Steel Grade Meanings

Steel comes in many different forms and grades. Industries will typically use groups of grades specific for their needs. Common grades of metals used across a range of industries are the structural steel grades such as S355J2+N and S275J0. But what do these numbers and letters mean? To answer this we first need to see the full material grade designation:

BS EN 10025-2 S355J2+N

We will go through each highlighted section in turn:

BS EN 10025-2 = This is the document which contains and specifies the material grade
S = This denotes that the material is a structural steel
355 = An indication of the specified minimum yield strength as measured by a tensile test
J2 = Denotes the quality level of this grade of material and indicates it’s impact properties
+N = Is the final treatment condition of the material

Temperature Reduction for Sub Sized Charpy Specimens

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How we work - Our machine shop

ASAMS Mill (left) and surface grinder (right)ASAMS Mill (left) and surface grinder (right) 

A big part of our company is our machine shop that produces highly accurate test samples using the most efficient practices. The team has a wealth of machining experience and knowledge and understands the best ways to extract test samples that are machined to the highest tolerances for specific testing standards. This blog will take you through the exact process of how our test samples are produced from receipt of a sample to the final machined test pieces.

What is the Ductile-Brittle Transition Temperature?

Fracture surfaces of charpy impact specimens showing brittle (left) and ductile (right) fracture (Wadher. R, 05.05.21)Fracture surfaces of charpy impact specimens showing brittle (left) and ductile (right) fracture (Wadher. R, 05.05.21)

Have you ever wondered why certain metals behave differently in icy conditions compared to room temperature or ambient conditions? At specific temperatures for certain materials, the mechanical properties can change significantly. This phenomenon is known as the ductile to brittle transition temperature. This article will explain this mechanism and how it differs for various materials.

What is the difference between PMI and Chemical Analysis?

When faced with a decision to choose between PMI or Chemical Analysis to determine the chemistry of a sample, how do both methods stack up against each other? This article will explain the main differences between them and explore the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Positive Material Identification (otherwise known as PMI) is a rapid, non-destructive method of verifying the chemical composition of a metal or alloy. As a highly portable tool, it offers the quickest and most cost-effective solution to determining the chemical composition of a component or batch material. Its applications are wide ranging from being able to quickly identify large batches of finished product to re-certifying materials. Different techniques such as X-Ray fluorescence (XRF) allow a fast identification of the key elements whereas Optical Emission Spectroscopy (OES) can analyse for carbon and lighter elements.

Chemical Analysis is a more time-consuming and complex solution to determining a materials chemical composition. The versatility of chemical analysis means it can be used in a wide variety of industries such as biological, metallurgical, and chemical uses. For example, ICP-OES (Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectroscopy) involves a trace level analytical technique by introducing a plasma beam to the surface of the material which in turn emits a spectrum of emission lines that characterise each element within the sample.

Our Sustainability Story

For more than 30 years ASAMS has developed its reputation for accuracy, reliability and professionalism with friendly service. One of the next goals is to develop our focus on sustainability. This means addressing the impact that ASAMS has on the environment and society.

As one of the UK’s leading metallurgical laboratories, we believe that reviewing our practices such as our carbon footprint, water usage, community development efforts and team diversity will have a positive impact to drive our business. Our focus is to “Do well – run a profitable business” and “Do good – influence social and environmental problems in a positive way”. We believe that this should enable us to continue to support clients in line with their sustainability goals.