The Mechanical Properties of Steel

the mechanical properties of steel
Hascall News
The Mechanical Properties of Steel
Steel Information
November 1, 2016

In Hascall Steel’s testing laboratory we run a battery of tests that capture intrinsic properties of our steel.  Some of these tests uncover the mechanical properties of the steel. This helps Hascall determine which material needs to be used to meet the customer’s exact specifications. Having our own testing facility on-site is extremely beneficial for our customers because we are able to expedite the steel selection process from a matter of days, down to minutes.

Rockwell Testing

Many of our customers come to us asking for a selection of steel with a specific range of hardness or a minimum hardness level. The measurement tool used to determine hardness level is known as Rockwell Machine. The ranges in Rockwell are dependent on the gauge of material being tested. The most common scale in the Rockwell test arena is the B Scale (B-scale conversion), and is normally found in gauges .040 and above. For gauges under .040 there are two different scales used to determine hardness (T and F). All of the scales can be converted to the standard B-scale which is the most common expression of Rockwell.

With the standard B-scale, softer steels, in commercial quality will range from a 40-60 Rockwell reading.  A mid to high range would be a Rockwell of 60-80, and over 80 would be extremely hard. Within Hascall’s laboratory are state-of-the-art Rockwell machines from Medatoyo. These digital machines are able to convert between the B-scale, T-scale, and superficials on the low side. All purchased steel is tested within the Medatoyo system and the findings are entered into Hascall’s database for accuracy and efficiency.

Tensile, Yield, and Elongation

Hascall Steel also has a state-of-the-art machine TYE machine making use of an Advanced Video
Extensometer (AVE). Rather than a mechanical attachment to the test piece, it’s a video camera that measures through the electronic eye the distance and elongation point of a steel trockwell testing for mechanical properties of steelest piece. So what are the
things that are measured with an AVE? The three main components measured are tensile, yield, and elongation.  Our equipment also records the R and N value of every sample tested.


What tensile is measuring when testing a sample of steel is its holding strength. The tensile point is found when the steel finds its failing point or breaking point. Common tensile ratings generally range from 45,000 to 80,000 psi (pounds per square inch).


The yield point is the point of testing where the steel begins to fail. Placing more weight or stress on the steel greater than its known tensile will find the yield point. The yield point will always be lower than the tensile.


Elongation is the distance between the yield point and tensile point, or from the start of failure to actual breaking point. Elongation measurements are always displayed as a percentage point. The percentage comes from the starting point of two inches on your sample size that is then stretched. So if the steel was stretched from the known standard of two inches to a final three inches before breaking, the elongation would be recorded as 50%. Common elongations observed are typically between 20% – 50%.

R & N Value

R value is a measure of steel’s drawability.  N value is a measure of steel’s workability, or strain hardening.

How this test is actually performed is the laboratory technician will place a known dimensional sample into the jaws of the TYE machine. The jaws begin to apply pressure to the steel sample in order to find the tensile and yield points. All the while the Video Extensometer is recording the stretch and break points.  This test is essential is trying to find how much weight the steel can hold under pressure. All three measurements work in combination with each other, but it’s the yield that the customer is normally most interested in.

When it comes to steel testing, ensuring accuracy is Hascall’s number one priority. Having a wide range of available steel with known mechanical properties helps us to be able to supply the exact specification of steel needed for a client. When we discuss the surface hardness measurement and tensile, yield, and elongation; we are really speaking to the potential ductility or moldability of the flat-rolled steels. These are considered to be the mechanical properties of steel which are derived from the chemical properties of steel. The mechanical properties of steel determine strength, ductility, and weldability that steel manufacturers most often need to ensure the proper construction of the final product.

  • “The material you sent us was the best we have ever run. We will be buying from you again”
    Production Supervisor at a Holland based metal stamper
  • “Paperwork was in order and passed our receiving process.”
    Quality Manager From a Grand Rapids Laser Cutting Company
  • “Hascall Steel's team asked me highly relevant questions to identify my true needs”
    Purchaser - Tennessee Stamper
  • “I appreciate Hascall Steel for knowing the market and planning ahead”
    Program Buyer - Detroit Manufacturer
  • “Hascall Steel's team reached out to check proactively if I needed my standard order. I appreciate them looking out for me”
    Shop Supervisor at a West Michigan Fabrication Company


We love customer relationships that become true partnerships between your team and our sales representatives.

Request a Quote

At Hascall Steel we understand that part of being an expert is being able to tailor steel to your needs. With that in mind there are some key areas that will help us fulfill your steel order in a way that is best suited to your company’s capacities. By working with our sales team, we can adjust several aspects of your order to make things easier for your team members. Next are some areas to keep in mind that can improve efficiency and quality.


Often customers place an order with the following basic information: Quantity/Gauge/Width/Length/Steel Type…

However there are quite a few QUALIFIERS that will help us all get the best value from the informational exchange.


When discussing material with our Sales Team, be sure to include tolerances for your gauge, width, and length (if applicable). In some cases, Hascall can meet tolerances as low as +/-.001 on gauge, +/-.003 on width, and +/-.015 on length. Specifications – Many steel specifications come with sub categories that can alter chemistries and mechanical boundaries. Be sure to have the full specification when ordering or talk with your sales representative to discuss options.


Proper packaging can help reduce unloading and production time. ID – We offer ID sizes in 16”, 20”, and 24” OD – We are able to provide OD sizes up to 72” Skidding – Standard or custom skidding available, just let us know how you would like your material skidded to best meet your equipment needs.
Paper – Protective paper is standard on all orders but can be applied with standard or full wrapping both with and without Hascall Logos. Max Coil and Skid Weight – Coils can be adjusted to meet your max lift and coil capacities.
Offloading – Material can be shipped skidded or standing and set for Forklift on the side or the rear of the bed. Material can also be shipped ready for sheet lifter or overhead crane offload.


Steel is only good if it gets there when you need it. At Hascall we have an experienced Logistics team that will ensure that your steel arrives on time in the way that best suits your needs. Whether you would like delivery via our in-house Steel Man Transportation service or if you would like to pick up your material personally, our team can set up appointments that meet your schedule. Our Logistics team can also arrange a 3rd party carrier if needed. Delivery dates, times, and address should be discussed with your Sales Representative prior to ordering.


And lastly, we know each customer is unique. There may be special requests that we would love to accommodate. These may range from a sample of the steel attached to the packaging, to increased tag requirements and frequencies. We are happy to work with you in order to be your trusted choice in slit steel coil and blanks.