Development of Non-Lead-Added Free-Cutting Steel for Automobile Parts
A new, free-cutting steel, hereafter referred to as “non-lead-added free-cutting steel”, has been developed with the intention of replacing currently applied lead containing free cutting steel. The ultimate goal of this project is to provide a new lead-free steel grade that will contribute to the removal of environmentally harmful substances from automobile parts. In this project, we have targeted the development of a material that would demonstrate levels of machinability and other mechanical properties equivalent to those of the conventional free-cutting steel to which sulfur (S), lead (Pb) and calcium (Ca) or combinations, thereof have been added. The fine dispersion of sulfide, modified by adding Mg and Ca, is most effective in enhancing the chip breakability that would otherwise deteriorate due to the absence of lead. The practical application of the non-lead-added free-cutting steel has rendered the goal of total removal of lead from special steel products highly obtainable.