Dura-Bar: Alternative To Steel


Dura-Bar is an ideal alternative for many steel applications, particularly for carbon steel grades such as 1010, 1018, 1040, 1045, 1141, 1144, 1212, 1214, 1215, 1218, and 12L14. Depending on the application, even some grades of alloy bar are an excellent fit for Dura-Bar. 

Many companies are putting Dura-Bar to work in place of traditional steel grades. They are discovering the benefits of continuous cast ductile iron from Dura-Bar. Usually the switch is made because Dura-Bar lowers the cost to produce their part. However, they also realize Dura-Bar doesn't have other issues that plague the steel market, like spot shortages, allocations and fluctuating prices. 

Dura-Bar's consistent material performance, distribution network and commitment to customers are unmatched in the industry.

Dura-Bar Ductile Chips

 Dura-Bar Chips

Steel Chips

 Steel Chips

Dura-Bar results in consistent and controllable chip formation, unlike typical steel stringers.

The following chart depicts how the material properties of Dura-Bar 65-45-12 and 80-55-06 ductile iron compare to those of a few common grades of steel.

Material Property Comparison

Material PropertyDuctile IronHot Rolled Steel
65-45-12SSDI80-55-061018AISI 1045 JSI 45C1117114412L14
Tensile Strength (psi)65,00075,00080,00058,00081,90058,900102,00057,300
Yeild Strength (psi)45,00055,00055,00031,90045,00031,90060,90034,100
Elongation (% in 2")121562516252122
Hardness - Average (BHN)180198229116163116212121
Shear Strength (psi)54,000-72,00033,06046,68033,06058,14032,660
Compressive Strength (psi)110,00059,200115,00058,00081,90058,000102,00057,300

Browse example applications and additional advantages below, or request a Steel Alternative Kit—the kit (available as a .pdf via e-mail or packet via snailmail) addresses machinability, heat treating, applications and more.

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Example Application: Pulley

Steel's Problems

  • Leaded material requires coolant disposal costs
  • Poor surface finish
  • Poor wear resistance

Solutions and Benefits

  • Lead-free Dura-Bar
  • Superior surface finish
  • Excellent grooving and drilling
  • Extended tool life
  • Lower shipping cost due to lighter weight of Dura-Bar

Pulley Made From Dura-Bar

  • Dura-Bar stocks over 500 sizes, available from our distributor network with over 100 locations. Our network of regional and national distributors is the best in the business for stocking, processing and delivering the Dura-Bar product. From specialty distributors to multi-line service centers, they stock a multitude of sizes and shapes and offer a broad mix of services, to meet your individual production needs.

    We stock a broad selection of sizes:

    Shape Size
    Rounds 5/8" to 26"
    Rectangles 2.150" x 2.930" to 18.500" x 22.000"
    Squares 1.250" to 12.250"
    Tubes ID 1.5" to 7" and OD 2.250" to 16"

    All Dura-Bar products are produced in North America, and we maintain a sufficient inventory of all sizes to meet historic and current demands. Custom sizes and shapes can be produced in just a few weeks. We are committed to keeping your machines busy.

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  • Dura-Bar understands there is no substitute for quality when you are efficiently running material. Running machines faster (increased capacity) is where most money is made. That kind of production and profitability is not possible with poor quality material.

    Dura-Bar’s commitment to quality starts with a process registered by UL to ISO 9001.

    This total approach to our market allows us to provide our customers with the best, most consistent product possible.

    The only one in the industry backed by a Zero Defect Guarantee

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  • Dura-Bar is committed to long-term relationships. By working closely with our distributors, customers and suppliers, we forecast and plan inventory needs and make sure we have capacity to meet them. This approach to the market has kept us from ever having to resort to any type of mill allocation.

    Our product is made in North America. No waiting for containers to arrive or betting on the fortunes of the overseas markets. We also have a large network of distributors in North America.

    This total approach to our market allows us to provide our customers with the best, most consistent product possible.

    View our Stock Sizes
    View our Distributor Locator

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  • Performance in an application is the ultimate test of a material. There are many grades of steel, generally referred to as low-carbon, medium carbon and alloy steel. Dura-Bar has two primary grades of ductile that can be considered as a replacement for most carbon steel applications and some alloy steel grades.

    Dura-Bar 65-45-12 – An excellent replacement for low-carbon leaded steels as well as rephosphorized and resulfurized free machining grades, including: 1010, 1018, 1020, 1212, 12L14 and 1215. Dura-Bar 80-55-06 – Less machinable than 65-45-12, but has better wear resistance and higher strengths. A good replacement for medium-carbon steels including: 1040, 1045, 1060, 1141 and 1144.

    Dura-Bar excels in applications involving:

    • Wear
    • Compression
    • Shear
    • Thermal Conductivity (Heat transfer)
    • Vibrations and Noise
    • Fatigue Strength
    • Lead Free Material ( No extra chip or coolant disposal costs, environmentally safer)
    • High Pressure

    And in applications where processing includes:

    • Turning
    • Milling
    • Drilling and Tapping
    • Heat treating
    • Surface treatments - plating, oxidizing, etc.

    Most grades of material have differences in some mechanical or physical properties. These attributes are often measured in different ways and many are not important in a given application. All these factors can complicate a material decision.

    Request a Steel Alternative Kit. The kit will contain brochures and tech briefs with product and technical information.

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  • Since Dura-Bar is a ferrous-based material, like all steels, it requires steel scrap or pig iron in the manufacturing process. Like all mills, we are not immune to the rise and fall of the raw materials market. To keep the impact of such swings to a minimum, we utilize a monthly raw material surcharge or surcredit that is a straight pass-through of our raw material cost.

    The material cost of Dura-Bar is not where most customers see the real savings. While our product’s in-the-door cost is competitive with many steel grades, the real advantage is Dura-Bar’s excellent machinability. Many customers see a 20 to 50% reduction in machining costs so the out-the-door cost is almost always lower.

    Even if the material cost is higher than carbon steel, the excellent machinability of Dura-Bar can lower your net cost.

    Factor in that iron is 8-10% lighter weight than steel (beneficial for shipping cost and also in certain applications).

    Processes such as carburizing may be eliminated, saving additional time and cost.

    Learn more about our lower price per part.

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  • Dura-Bar is designed with the manufacturer in mind. By producing a product that can be repeatedly machined faster than any other ferrous-based material, you can maximize your production throughput.

    By using Dura-Bar, you will be able to increase your profit margins by machining more parts per hour. You will decrease your cycle time and increase your productivity and capacity...

    • Optimize Your Machining Speeds and Feeds (typical minimum 30% increase), decrease cycle time
    • Increase capacity
    • Lower Your Tooling Costs by Maximizing Tool Life (decrease down time for tooling changes)
    • Reduce Scrap by Using a Defect-Free Material, consistent fine-grained microstructure
    • Chip Control (free machining properties, no complex chip breaker design is required – graphite is a natural chip breaker)
    • Minimal deburring
    • Surface finish similar to steel (easier to achieve and maintain due to nodular graphite structure)

    Together, it all adds up to a lower total cost per part.

    If you are serious about making more parts – and more money, give us a call. It only takes a few minutes with one of our sales engineers to determine if Dura-Bar will work for you.

    Learn more about Machinability

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Following are examples of parts which originated as steel, but now made from Dura-Bar have gained significant cost-saving and performance benefits.

Hydraulic Manifold

Dura-Bar provided a more machinable material with the needed pressure retention of the application originally manufactured in 1018 steel. The machining cycle time was cut in half and time changing inserts was also reduced.

Download Application Brief >

Compressor Rotor

Dura-Bar 65-45-12 properties and superior quality resulted in reduced machining cycle times, lowered tooling costs and improved balance over steel.

Download Application Brief >