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What are the metallurgical properties of the steel used in the folding platform cart?

The metallurgical properties of the steel used in a folding platform cart are critical to its performance, durability, and safety. Here’s a detailed look at these properties and how they impact the cart's overall functionality:

Composition and Alloying Elements
Carbon Content: The steel folding platform carts typically has a carbon content ranging from low to medium (0.05% to 0.25%). Low-carbon steels are softer and more ductile, making them easier to form and weld, while medium-carbon steels offer better strength and wear resistance.
Alloying Elements: Common alloying elements include manganese (Mn), which improves toughness and hardenability; chromium (Cr), which enhances corrosion resistance; and sometimes vanadium (V) or molybdenum (Mo), which increase strength and temperature resistance. The specific combination of these elements can vary based on the required performance characteristics.

Ferrite and Pearlite: Most structural steels used in such applications have a microstructure composed primarily of ferrite (a soft, ductile phase) and pearlite (a harder, stronger phase), providing a balance between strength and ductility.
Martensite and Bainite: In higher-strength steels, martensite or bainite may be present. These phases form through rapid cooling (quenching) and provide increased hardness and tensile strength, essential for supporting heavy loads and withstanding wear.

Mechanical Properties
Tensile Strength: The tensile strength of the steel used in platform carts generally ranges from 400 MPa to 800 MPa. This property measures the maximum stress the steel can withstand while being stretched or pulled before breaking, ensuring that the cart can handle heavy loads without deforming.
Yield Strength: Yield strength, typically between 250 MPa and 550 MPa, indicates the stress at which the steel begins to deform plastically. This property is crucial for maintaining the shape and structural integrity of the cart under load.
Hardness: The hardness of the steel affects its resistance to wear and surface deformation. Measured using scales like Rockwell or Vickers, the hardness can range from 100 to 300 HV for steels used in folding carts. Higher hardness improves durability but may reduce ductility.

Ductility and Toughness
Ductility: Ductility is the steel's ability to deform under tensile stress, measured by elongation and reduction of area in tensile tests. Steels with high ductility can absorb significant energy and undergo plastic deformation without fracturing, which is vital for parts that need to fold or absorb shocks.
Toughness: Toughness is the ability of the steel to absorb energy and resist fracture, particularly in impact situations. It is typically measured using Charpy impact tests. The steel used in carts must balance toughness to prevent brittle fractures when subjected to sudden loads or impacts.

Steel platform heavy duty hand truck trolley cart with folding handle

Corrosion Resistance
Chromium Content: The presence of chromium or other corrosion-resistant alloys helps protect the steel from rust and degradation in moist or corrosive environments. For folding platform carts, especially those used outdoors or in wet conditions, enhanced corrosion resistance is critical.
Surface Treatments: To further improve corrosion resistance, the steel may be galvanized or coated with protective layers such as powder coatings or paint, preventing oxidation and extending the lifespan of the cart.

The metallurgical properties of the steel used in folding platform carts include its composition, microstructure, mechanical properties, corrosion resistance, and manufacturability. These properties are carefully balanced to ensure that the cart is strong, durable, and reliable, capable of withstanding heavy loads and repetitive use in various environments.

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