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I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.
2

I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

(OP)
I am trying to reverse engineer an existing snowplow model and improve upon it. These snowplows are made in China. What is the most likely material they could have used to make the major components of these snowplows? It would make sense to make them out of stainless steel. Is there any way to determine this if I don't have access to the drawings? In general what alloy could be used for the blades, and frame elements to optimize the cost and maintain basic product functionality? If my concept design and build goes well, I will consider sourcing these from China myself.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

I'd wager most every bit of that plow is 4140/similar other than the cutting edge, which is likely 1055/similar.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

What research have you done on what is currently available?

What is going to distinguish your product from those with name recognition?

Snow is not terribly abrasive and designing around all of the other forms of abuse will be difficult. It seems like a small amount of abrasion resistant steel at the pavement contact surface might be useful, but otherwise use the lowest grade of steel that you can. Offshore manufacturers might end up using that anyway, regardless of specification.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

(OP)
CWB1,
I was thinking they would be made out of low carbon steel such as AISI 1010 or 1020 as they have good bending and welding properties.
Why did you assume that most of components would be made out of 4140?

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

(OP)
DVD,
I have done some research but I am mostly doing this project for fun. Let's say I would like to make the most cost effective and robust snowplower there is in my free time. If you had some free time in your hands and drive to build this yourself with future commercial potential, what materials would you choose here?

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

I would look into choosing thicker materials vs higher alloys to see where the geometric properties outweigh the material properties.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

Cost effective = whatever is a good price at a scrapyard finding items that are a suitable shape.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

(OP)
Dave,
I would like to design the parts in solidworks and make proper drawings with proper material call-outs. I know I can build it from scrap for my needs. But if I were to send out the drawings to china, what would be the best material to choose for better price per unit?

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

Depending on how low the temperature is going to be, I would think that A-36 would be fine.
Stay away from high carbon steel.
I made a replacement auger drive plate for a snowblower in Prudhoe Bay, AK years ago and used 8620 to deal with the -50 deg environment.
For the wearing edge, you could go with something like AR-400.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

"I am mostly doing this project for fun." is at odds with "if I were to send out the drawings to china"

If you are trying to compete with already available commercial products you are almost certainly far behind the curve. The established makers have already encountered and dealt with problems in design, use, sales, marketing, raw material acquisition, and so on. Your better price per unit is already 2X to 10X what you can buy one off the shelf.

Maybe if you plan on ordering 50,000 units and are going to spend 10 months in China making sure they use the materials you specify, the welds you specify, the anti-corrosion materials you specify, the packaging you specify, and to ensure they don't steal the design for using their assembly line to make knock-offs on the night shift to undercut you. Maybe.

Not my idea of fun.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

FYI, good 316SSTL should be non-magnetic.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

(OP)
DAVIDSTECKER,
I did a magnet test. All the major parts are magnetic. I am more and more convinced that they are made out of some low carbon mild steel.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

(OP)
3DDAVE,

To be honest, I am a mechanical engineer myself. I am trying to get into product development. I would like to design this to include in a portfolio with my improvements and design it like I will mass-produce it. That's why I am trying to take this project seriously and learn as much as I can in the meantime.
I see you have an extensive design experience from your profile. If you were to mentor me through this project, which material would you recommend I use that is suitable for a personal use snowblower (non-commercial), and cheap to produce.

For example, one thing I didn't understand with this design. They are using a lot of bent metal weldments. For one of the parts, instead of using C channel cut, they have made their own "C Channel" by bending metal. It is cheaper to do this in china rather than buying steel profiles and cutting/modifying them?

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

A good mention by DAVIDSTECKER on how cold. This is an easy read that points out some of the issues that really cold plows need to be designed around. Why cold steel is brittle

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

(OP)
What is the most widely used steel alloy for the steel profiles and plates that is good at welding and machining?

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

(OP)
dvd,
Yes I took a note of that of what DAVIDSTECKER mentioned

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

H-f-K: Every manufacturer has their "preferred" methods and capabilities. Some are better at casting (or perhaps have less restrictive equivalents to the Environmental Protection Act). Others might prefer forming from basic shapes; still others might have gone down the extruded piece path. And some simply modify "commercial" shapes into what the end product requires. It's all about what works for a specific manufacturer.

Same goes for material availability, to some extent.

Converting energy to motion for more than half a century

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

Nothing China does to consumer products surprises me whether good, bad, or weird. That said, IME 4140 is pretty standard stateside for anything that sees significant dynamic loading. Lower carbon steels are good for cheap, reasonably static parts but when designing something like this snowplow its generally equally or more cost-efficient to use 4130/40 bc of the higher strength, toughness, etc and the need to resist high impact loads, vibration, etc.

Natural atmospheric temps have little effect on steel. I lived in AK previously and worked cold weather research in and out of the military. Prudhoe and McMurdo have no need for special alloys or engineering for snow removal equipment, its all standard commercial products albeit winterized for engine starting and driver/passenger comfort.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

A high manganese alloy for toughness and abrasion resistance, perhaps.

-----*****-----
So strange to see the singularity approaching while the entire planet is rapidly turning into a hellscape. -John Coates

-Dik

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

Plow from China is going to be the cheapest steel they can find. If you're lucky, you might get a high quality low carbon trip edge, but nothing on that plow is going to be 4140 or any other clean high alloy.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

My guess for most of its construction would be A572. And for the blade facing I'd be asking someone in the business that does bulldozer , or grader blade blade refacing.
Most of the time the cutting edge is a hard rubber so as to not damage road surfaces.

RE: I am trying to determine the steel alloy used for the major parts of these snowplows.

FYI, my suggestion is to use SUS304 or higher quality to make this.
We can provide you with more solutions for this SNOW CLEANING TRUCK

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