41xx steel

41xx steel is a family of SAE steel grades, as specified by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Alloying elements include chromium and molybdenum, and as a result these materials are often informally referred to as chromoly steel (common variant stylings include chrome-moly, cro-moly, CrMo, CRMO, CR-MOLY, and similar). They have an excellent strength to weight ratio and are considerably stronger and harder than standard 1020 steel, but are not easily welded, requiring thermal treatment both before and after welding to avoid cold cracking.[1]

While these grades of steel do contain chromium, it is not in great enough quantities to provide the corrosion resistance found in stainless steel.

Examples of applications for 4130, 4140 and 4145 include structural tubing, bicycle frames, gas bottles for transportation of pressurized gases, firearm parts, clutch and flywheel components, and roll cages. 4150 stands out as being one of the steels accepted for use in M16 rifle and M4 carbine barrels by the United States military. These steels are also used in aircraft parts and therefore 41xx grade structural tubing is sometimes referred to as "aircraft tubing".


Alloy composition (by weight)[2]
SAE grade % Cr % Mo % C * % Mn % P (max) % S (max) % Si
* The carbon composition of the alloy is denoted by the last two digits of the SAE specification number, in hundredths of a percent
Mechanical properties
MaterialConditionTensile strength [psi (MPa)]Yield strength [psi (MPa)]Elongation in 2" [%]Hardness (Rockwell)
4130Cold drawn—normalized[3]85,000–110,000 psi (590–760 MPa)70,000–85,000 psi (480–590 MPa)20–30B 90–96
4142Hot rolledannealed[3]90,000–100,000 psi (620–690 MPa)60,000–70,000 psi (410–480 MPa)20–30B 90–95
Cold drawn—annealed[3]105,000–120,000 psi (720–830 MPa)85,000–95,000 psi (590–660 MPa)15–25B 96–100
4150Hot rolled—annealed[3]90,000–110,000 psi (620–760 MPa)65,000–75,000 psi (450–520 MPa)20–30B 90–96

Other characteristics

One of the characteristics of this class of steel is the ability to be case hardened by carburization of the surface. The core of the material retains its bulk properties, while the outer surface is significantly hardened to reduce wear and tear. This makes this grade of steel an excellent material for uses such as gears, piston pins, and crankshafts.[2]


  1. Metals, Online. "Online Metal Store | Small Quantity Metal Orders | Metal Cutting, Sales & Shipping | Buy Steel, Aluminum, Copper, Brass, Stainless | Metal Product Guides at OnlineMetals.com". www.onlinemetals.com. Retrieved 2016-06-16.
  2. Central Steel & Wire Company Catalog (2006–2008 ed.), p. 246. Note: "For bar products; plate, sheet and tubing may be slightly different."
  3. Central Steel & Wire Company Catalog (2006–2008 ed.), p. 260.
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