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Old 07-15-2019, 12:25 PM
J. Whitton J. Whitton is offline
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Default Wrought-iron vs cold-rolled steel

Hello all, as a new member I hope I'm posting this inquiry in the correct location. A customer brought in some "handmade" wrought chain that they are wanting to use to hang a rather large antique sign. The chain links are made from .250" square stock and are approximately 2.5" long and 1.125" wide. This sign is a little over 100lbs.

Let me fist state that I know very little about wrought iron but I feel this would not be adequate for safely suspending such a large piece. I suggested that we replicate this look with a cold rolled link version. I've always thought of wrought iron chains being too brittle to be nothing more than decorative.

Anyone have any input on comparing the two?

Thanks
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Old 07-15-2019, 12:56 PM
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Dr Dean Dr Dean is offline
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If it is indeed hand made I would say that as long as the links are welded it would probably hold 300-400 pounds. Take a link on the end and proof test it, keep adding weight until it deforms or breaks. Once you get it to deform call that your failure load, then divide that amount of weight by 1.5 and that would be your working load limit. If it deforms at 400 Lb then divided by 1.5 gives you a 266 pound working load.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:06 PM
J. Whitton J. Whitton is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dr Dean View Post
If it is indeed hand made I would say that as long as the links are welded it would probably hold 300-400 pounds. Take a link on the end and proof test it, keep adding weight until it deforms or breaks. Once you get it to deform call that your failure load, then divide that amount of weight by 1.5 and that would be your working load limit. If it deforms at 400 Lb then divided by 1.5 gives you a 266 pound working load.
Thank you for the reply. Unfortunately the links aren't welded. In my opinion these appear to be mass produced by some automated process. The customer said they were handmade but i dont think thats the case. I'll test a link and follow up with the results.
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Whitton View Post
...A customer brought in some "handmade" wrought chain that they are wanting to use to hang a rather large antique sign. The chain links are made from .250" square stock and are approximately 2.5" long and 1.125" wide. This sign is a little over 100lbs.

Let me fist state that I know very little about wrought iron but I feel this would not be adequate for safely suspending such a large piece. I suggested that we replicate this look with a cold rolled link version. I've always thought of wrought iron chains being too brittle to be nothing more than decorative...
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Whitton View Post
...Unfortunately the links aren't welded. In my opinion these appear to be mass produced by some automated process...
I think there is some confusion here as to the actual material the chains are made of. True "wrought" iron is an old material that is pretty rare these days. It hasn't been made commercially for some time and I highly doubt that these chains are made from it. It's much more likely that you're dealing with a plain mild steel. The term "wrought iron" is used a lot these days to refer to the process of making ornamental iron products like gates and railings but whether the stuff is hand-forged or not the actual material used is still just mild steel.

The term "cold-rolled" is also sometimes misunderstood--again it refers to a process and not to a material. All steel comes out of the mill in a hot-rolled form. It is the secondary process of "cold-rolling" that produces squares, flats and rounds to a more precise size with a smooth, scale-free finish.

The rolling process also adds a little strength. Probably the most common cold-rolled material in North America is A1018 steel--normal yield strength in hot-rolled form is about 58 kips while cold-rolled material will have a tensile strength of around 64 kips. A fairly popular machining steel is A1040 which in the hot-rolled state will have a tensile strength of about 76 kips; in cold-rolled form the tensile jumps to about 85 kips.

As for strength, if you're hanging a 100 lb. sign using two of those chains (I would presume you're using one on either end) that chain should be more than strong enough. If it makes you feel better you can close up each link with a touch of weld but I don't think it's necessary...
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Old 08-23-2019, 12:22 PM
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midmosandblasting midmosandblasting is offline
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With the continuous castors used today I thought most was 1020 . Learned something new today .
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by midmosandblasting View Post
...With the continuous castors used today I thought most was 1020...
Around here 1018 is the most common cold-finish material. I've seen it in 1020 but not for some time. Turns out that 1020 is about 3000 ksi less than 1018...
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LKeithR View Post

The rolling process also adds a little strength. Probably the most common cold-rolled material in North America is A1018 steel--normal yield strength in hot-rolled form is about 58 kips while cold-rolled material will have a tensile strength of around 64 kips. A fairly popular machining steel is A1040 which in the hot-rolled state will have a tensile strength of about 76 kips; in cold-rolled form the tensile jumps to about 85 kips.
You are mixing metaphors, so to speak.

A kip is one thousand pounds, no reference to area.

On the other hand, ksi is one thousand pounds or one kip per square inch.

Carry on...
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Old 08-23-2019, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by arizonian View Post
You are mixing metaphors, so to speak.

A kip is one thousand pounds, no reference to area.

On the other hand, ksi is one thousand pounds or one kip per square inch.

Carry on...
Picky, picky, picky. But yeah, you're right--ksi would be the....ummmm......correct term...
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:44 PM
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No need to over think this.

welded, not welded
Worught alloy, cold rolled.

simply set up a test with the actual piece (the whole amount needed, not just a sample)
and apply 3x load, and see if it holds.
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Old 07-15-2019, 01:52 PM
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Sorry that I dont have any advice to add on your post but, welcome to the forum anyway!
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