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CNC Milling Parts-316 Stainless Steel

What is Steel 9260?

Steel 9260 is a metal made by alloying iron with carbon, and it is used in almost every industry thanks to its valuable mechanical properties. Its strength is paired with good workability and machinability, and it is relatively inexpensive to produce, which makes it a primary choice of material for most designers. The American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) have made steel selection easier by naming different grades of steel with indexes that specify the alloying elements and general properties of the steel. This article will highlight 9260 steel, a high silicon alloy spring steel known for its outstanding working characteristics. By outlining the chemical composition, mechanical properties, and applications of 9260 steel, this article aims to help the reader decide whether 9260 steel is a good material choice for their project.

Physical Properties of 9260 Steel

9260 steel is given its four-digit name by the joint naming index created by the AISI and SAE. To learn more about this naming scheme, as well as the differences between steel grades, review our article on the types of steels.

The first digit designates the class of the steel alloy- that is, what the major alloying components are (besides carbon). For this steel, the “9” shows that this steel is of the silicon-manganese class of alloy steels. The second digit represents the percentage of these major elements; the “2” in 9260 steel, therefore, means this class is around 2% silicon/manganese. Finally, the last two digits represent the carbon percentage in the steel, in increments of 0.01%. Using this rule, 9260 steel is 0.60% carbon. The exact chemical composition of 9260 steel is much more specific, (seen below with tolerances), but its name gives a good idea as to its general makeup.

The specific elemental percentages of 9260 steel are:

0.56- 0.64% Carbon
0.75-1.0% Manganese
<= 0.035% Phosphorus
1.8-2.2% Silicon
<= 0.040% Sulfur
9260 steel can often be found as AISI 9260 steel and is considered a high-silicon spring alloy steel. This means it has good spring characteristics and is useful for its flexion as well as its resilience to deformation. It is easily machined when annealed and can be welded by all methods except via oxyacetylene torches. It is generally resistant to corrosion and is hard enough to resist local surface deformation. It is forgeable as well as heat treatable and responds well to quench hardening. 9260 steel has a density of 7.85 g/cm3 (0.284 lb/in3) and is most often found in the form of round bar, plate, tube, and sheet stock. Its optimal spring characteristics make 9260 steel an exceptional choice when producing leaf and conical springs but can also be used in many other areas as a high-strength alloy.

Mechanical Properties
Table 1 (below) shows some important mechanical properties of 9260 steel. This section will go through each property and detail how they show the strengths – and weaknesses – of 9260 steel.

Table 1: Summary of mechanical properties for 9260 steel.
Mechanical Properties

Metric Values

English Values

Modulus of Elasticity

200 GPa

29000 ksi

Hardness (Rockwell B)



Ultimate Tensile Strength

770-1525 MPa

112000 – 221200 psi

Tensile Yield Strength

440-1149 MPa

63800-166600 psi




Modulus of elasticity or Young’s modulus describes the elastic resilience of a material. In other words, it describes how elastic a material is and is a measure of both the stiffness as well as the general material strength. 9260 steel has an elastic modulus of 200 GPa, which is over twice as much as most aluminum alloys. This large elastic modulus allows 9260 steel to be more easily machined, as its stiffness and strength allow for easy milling.

The hardness of a material is measured in many ways; as such, there are numerous hardness scales created by various testing companies. One of the most common hardness scales used for steel is the Rockwell hardness scale, which uses the Rockwell indenter machine to test materials of similar strength. The Rockwell scale is only useful if you know how other materials scored on the same scale; for example, the Rockwell B hardness value for copper is 51, so we know that 9260 steel (with an HRB of 94) is much harder than copper. The hardness of material represents its ability to resist surface deformation and is necessary to understand when implementing a material in a high-stress environment. 9260 steel is, therefore, a great choice for these kinds of applications, as its hardness exceeds other spring steels such as 5160 steel (to learn more, see our article all about 5160 steel).

The ultimate tensile and tensile yield strengths are common values provided by experimental stress tests. They each describe the maximum stress needed to permanently deform (yield) and fracture (ultimate) a specimen of metal, and these values show the stress tolerances of a material. These values fluctuate based on heat treatment and the history of the steel, which is why Table 1 shows a range of values for 9260 steel. These ranges show the impressive strength of this alloy steel and show why 9260 steel is so useful in spring applications. This range also means 9260 steel can be conditioned to suit any number of applications, as its yield and ultimate strengths can be modulated to fit the project’s specifications.

Machinability is a comparative value that describes how a material performs under machining stresses. It can only be used when in reference to some baseline material, which is given a score of 100% machinability. A percentage under 100% is said to be more difficult to machine than this reference material, but it does not necessarily mean this material cannot be machined. As seen in Table 1, the machinability score of 9260 steel is 40%, which is in reference to a 100% score for AISI 1212 steel. While it may initially seem that 9260 steel is not easily machined, it is easily machined when softened. The lower score is simply due to its increased strength, which can wear down machine bits faster and cause more delays in material processing.

Applications of 9260 Steel

Type 9260 steel is a versatile spring steel; its high strength, corrosion resistance, hardness, and workability lend it to any application which favors resilience. It is most commonly used in leaf and conical springs, but some other notable applications can be seen below:

Aircraft parts
Military technology
Bridge supports
Machine tools
Blades and cutlery
Railway applications
and more.

steel 9260 is easily sourced, so don’t hesitate to ask your supplier about this impressive metal if it sounds useful for your project. They will provide you with the relevant information as well as alternatives and give you the best idea as to what steel to implement in your designs.


XTJ is a leading OEM Manufacturer for Steel 9260  CNC Machining that is dedicated to providing one-stop manufacturing solutions from prototype to production. We are proud to be an ISO 9001 certified system quality management company and we are determined to create value in every customer relationship. We do that through collaboration, innovation, process improvements, and exceptional workmanship.




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