What You Should Understand About Manganese Alloy

Manganese alloy is one of the hardest non-magnetic metals available on the market. Its steel variant is common in high-impact processes like cement mixers and the mining industry. But it is critical to understand the alloy’s mechanical, physical, and chemical properties before application. 

In other words, factors such as oxidation resistance, melting point, and durability are vital when choosing metals. This article covers the critical questions regarding manganese alloy production and application.

What is Manganese Alloy?

Manganese alloys contain an average of 13% manganese, which provides abrasion resistance and features high-impact strength in the work-hardened state. You can prepare it by alloying steel with 0.8% -1.25% carbon and 11%-15% manganese. 

The alloy features extreme anti-wear properties with unique non-magnetic steel. Besides abrasion resistance, manganese alloy can multiply its surface hardness more than three times in tough situations. The best part is that it can raise its hardness without impacting brittleness. 

Therefore, it retains its toughness longer. The combination of these unique properties makes manganese alloys ideal for various applications. But there are numerous manganese alloy variants for you to compare. They include copper manganese, nickel manganese, and iron manganese. 

For instance, ferromanganese alloys combine manganese and iron properties. Manganese alloys can be an ideal option for high-impact & abrasive tasks like crawler treads for tractors, railway switches, rock crushers, cement mixers, and shot peening machines. 

The alloy is also ideal for cryogenic steel since it features low temperatures and high strength. Other applications of Manganese alloy are electronics, exceptional stainless steel grades, and the production of copper & aluminum alloys. 

Manganese can improve corrosion resistance in aluminum. Hence, it is a widespread application in the non-ferrous metallurgical process for aluminum. Although high-strength alloys feature 1% to 1.8% manganese, most steel alloys come with 0.15% to 0.8%. 

Manganese content of about 1.5% to 5% makes steel alloys brittle. Over 5% manganese content pulverizes the steel at a hammer strike. An increase in the content beyond 5% boosts ductility & hardness. 

Raising the content of manganese to about 10% retains the steel’s austenite form if it cools appropriately at room temperature. But depending on the alloying agent, manganese’s highest ductility & hardness points occur at about 12%. 

Overall, carbon is the most popular manganese alloying agent as its effects dramatically increase from low to high. Other manganese alloying agents include non-metallic elements like silicon, vanadium & molybdenum as ferrite stabilizers and chromium & nickel metals as austenite stabilizers. 

Manganese Alloy Formats

You can produce manganese alloys in different shapes and formats to suit various applications. Some popular formats available on the market include:

  • Manganese Alloy Forgings

Typical manganese alloy forgings include crafts like discs and rings. The forgings come with properties similar to other formats suitable for manganese alloy applications. Nonetheless, checking out the manganese content percentage when purchasing forgings is critical. 

  • Manganese Plates/Sheets

Manganese Alloy Sheets

Manufacturers produce manganese alloys in thin flat plates or sheets. They can be an ideal option in applications where broad & thin manganese sheets are suitable, such as glazes and varnishes.

  • Manganese Alloy Bars

Some companies venture into producing manganese alloy bars. Bars can be suitable for machining components requiring particular shapes and dimensions. 

  • Manganese Alloy Wires

Wires can be a better option in applications that require durability, optimal strength, and temperature resistance. Thus, various companies venture into manganese alloy wires production. The application for these wires varies from electronics to air crafts. 

  • Manganese Alloy Tubes

Most metal alloys are available on the market in pipes and tubes. Tubes serve an array of functions, such as transporting fluids. The pipes can also be an ideal option in applications that require high corrosion, high temperature, and mechanical resistance. 

  • Manganese Alloy Billets

Manganese alloy billets are suitable for innovative materials since they are primarily semi-finished manganese alloys. The billets suit users looking to process the manganese alloy further through extrusion and forging. They are ideal for crafting objects. 

Carbon Ferro-Manganese Manufacturing Process

Ferromanganese refers to a ferroalloy variant with high manganese content contributing around 80% in weight. You can process the alloy by heating a mixture of Fe2O3 and MnO2 oxides with coke or coal carbon. The reaction occurs in a submerged arc furnace like an electric arc or blast furnace system. 

The chemical reaction produces ferromanganese through a carbothermal reduction. Generally, carbon content ranges from 7% to 7.5%, and manganese content from 74% to 82%. Another excellent production process would be smelling it through discard slag or high manganese slag processes. 

  • Metallo-Thermic Reduction

Metallo-Thermic reduction describes the chemical process of obtaining a target compound or metal from feed materials like halides (chlorides) & oxides using a reducing agent. The process is suitable for producing reactive metals like Manganese alloys, REMs, Ta (tantalum), and Ti. 

For example, using the feed material MX and the reducing agent R, you can represent the reaction to produce metal M through Metallo-Thermic reduction as (MX+R→ M+RX). 

  • Smelting Process

Manganese Alloy Smelting process

The smelting process is a form of extractive metallurgy that involves heating an ore to produce a base metal. It is a popular method for extracting several base metals from their ores, such as copper, iron, and silver. 

The process utilizes a chemical-reducing agent and heats to decompose the base metal ore. Therefore, it drives off other chemical elements as gas, to leave the metal deposits. The most common reducing agent for the process includes carbon fossil fuel sources. 

Since high temperatures break the chemical potential energy between carbon dioxide bonds, the ore oxygen binds to carbon. Meanwhile, the carbon-reducing agent acts as a chemical reactant for removing oxygen from the metal ore to yield a pure metal. 

The process involves two carbon oxidation stages. The first stage produces carbon monoxide (CO) after carbon burns to react with air oxygen. The second stage involves removing one oxygen atom from the carbon monoxide by reacting with the ore to produce carbon dioxide. 

Since most ores are impure, applying flux like dolomite or limestone is necessary to remove the rock gangue. High manganese slag processes involve 30% to 42% manganese. Besides, recycling the feed through an electrolytic process to produce purer manganese metal is possible.

Yet, avoiding the addition of flux to the reaction will result in higher manganese content. The process produces ferroalloy saturated with carbon-containing 12% to 15% iron content, 1.2% silicon content, 76% to 80% manganese, and 7.5% carbon.

For instance, the silicomanganese alloy has about 1.5% to 2% carbon, 16% to 21% silicon, and 65% to 68% manganese. 

Manganese Alloy Physical Properties

Properties Value
Thermal Conductivity 150W/mk
Boiling Point  2,062°C (3,744°F)
Electrical Conductivity 620000 S/m
Density 7.21–7.44 gram/cm3 at 20°C (68°F)
Melting Point 1,246°C (2,275°F)

Manganese Alloy Chemical Composition

Although manganese alloy is more rigid and brittle, it has the same physical and chemical features as iron. You can acquire it from its most common ores, including pyrolusite, wad, and romanechite forms. The process to separate the alloy from its ore is through electrolyzing manganese sulfate. 

Another production method would be to reduce the oxide with magnesium, sodium or aluminum. Over 95% of manufacturers’ manganese alloys end up in iron and steel production processes for alloying them into silicomanganese and ferromanganese. 

In any case, you can acquire natural manganese as the stable isotope of manganese-55. Its crude ores feature four various allotropic changes. It decomposes in water quickly on heating but gradually when cold and burns in the air at high temperatures. 

Manganese alloys can dissolve rapidly in dilute acids to form their respective salts and hydrogen. In addition, the alloy dissolves rapidly in non-oxidizing acids, indicating it is somewhat electropositive. 

Although manganese alloy is unreactive at room temperature, it reacts with non-metals at high temperatures. The metal can react with fluorine to form MnF3 and MnF2 (trifluorides and difluorides). 

Manganese alloy can also react with oxygen to form tri manganese tetroxide (Mn3O4), nitrogen to produce manganese (ii) nitride (Mn3N2), and chlorine to form manganese (ii) chloride (MnCl2). 

manganese (ii) nitride

Meanwhile, the alloy is the most reliable reduction agent in the production of copper alloys. Adding the metal to a copper alloy deoxidizes it and enhances its castability & mechanical strength. 

Manganese alloy can be an ideal addition for enhancing wear resistance, hardenability, toughness, hardness, stiffness, and strength in steel. In simple terms, high manganese alloys have a favorable balance and combination of strength level parameters, strain hardening, formability, and ductility. 

It can be a suitable option for automobiles as it reduces the vehicle’s weight and improves resistance against wear and tear. The nickel manganese alloy has high corrosion resistance levels with good thermal conductivity. 

Thus, they are common in wire cloth, lamps, electronic tube supports, and cables. Its manganese alloy variant has excellent chemical properties suitable for wire mesh and filters in the petrochemical industry.

Manganese Alloy Mechanical Properties

Manganese alloys have high tensile strength and adequate yield strength ranging between 350 megapascals to 900 MPa. Unlike other steel alloys, manganese steel does not tear apart or neck down when you stretch it to the breaking point.

Nevertheless, manganese alloy hardens to boost its tensile strength, which can hit a record high of about 2000 MPa. This record-high tensile strength for the alloy makes other compounds harden and become longer & thinner instead of necking down. 

The best manganese alloys can attain between 18% to 65% elongation, varying based on the heat treatment method and its exact compounds. Manganese alloys with 12% to 30% manganese can combat the brittle & cold effects of up to −196 °F (−127 °C). 

Yet, manganese alloy application faces difficulty in machining as it features ‘zero machinability.’ Since the alloy hardens quickly, you cannot soften it through annealing or reform it through grinding and cutting.

In other words, it requires special tools for machining. For instance, you can only drill the alloy using carbide or diamond. The alloy remains stronger than carbon steel under heat and might crumble if you hammer it when white-hot. However, it is possible to forge it with a yellow heat.

Although the alloy is highly heat treatable, its manganese content lowers the temperature, transforming austenite into ferrite. It is unlike carbon steel since it softens instead of hardening when you cool it rapidly to restore its elasticity in the work-hardened form.

Most manganese alloy grades do not require tempering since they are ready for use after quenching and annealing from a yellow heat. Its hardness is about 200HB, which is roughly similar to stainless steel. 

Nonetheless, it has unique features that diminish the indentation effect on determining the alloy’s scratch hardness, impact resistance, and abrasion.

Manganese Alloy Variants

  • Low-carbon (LC) Silicomanganese SiMn

Low-carbon manganese alloys are in two families: silico-manganese (SiMn) and Ferro-manganese (FeMn). In general, silico-manganese features silicon, a stronger deoxidizer that can improve steel mechanical properties. 

You must control and lower carbon in each family to produce more refined grades. Refined grades are a common constituent in welding electrode coatings.

  • Manganese Alloy Steel

The synonyms for manganese steel include mangalloy or Hadfield steel. This alloy contains 12% to 14% manganese. It comes with abrasion resistance and high impact strength in the hardened state. Due to its self-hardening features, the alloy is common in rock crushers, shovel buckets, and cement mixers.

Even though all steel can develop rust in moist conditions, adding manganese through alloying can improve the metal’s corrosion resistance. The resistance occurs partly due to manganese ions adsorption. The alloy is non-magnetic and suits lifting magnets and electrical transformer assemblies.

  • Aluminum Manganese Alloy

The most dominant element in aluminum manganese alloy is manganese metal. The alloy also contains up to 1% alloying elements like copper (Cu), magnesium (Mg), silicon (Si), and iron (Fe). 

Manufacturers process aluminum manganese alloys in profiles or sheets by extrusion or rolling processes. Generally speaking, the aluminum manganese alloy has corrosion resistance, but low aluminum content can diminish the element’s strength.  

Manganese application

The alloy is suitable for low-strength applications and is typical in food-related & chemical industries for its corrosion resistance level. Thus, it is a functional material and not a construction material.

Aluminum manganese alloys are common in beverage cans and packaging materials. The alloy is also suitable for heat exchangers, roller doors, shutters, and pressure vessels.

  • Iron Manganese Alloy

Iron manganese alloys are available in vast volumes in foil, sheet, shot, wire, ribbon, ingot, and bar format. High-purity and ultra-high-purity forms include nanoscale, submicron powder, and metal powder. 

It is also available in film deposition and pellets for PVD (physical vapor deposition) and CVD (chemical vapor deposition) applications. 

You can find Iron manganese alloy in custom and typical packaging and grades such as Optical Grade, Agricultural & Pharmaceutical Grade, and Reagent & Technical Grade. Some typical applications for the alloy include radiation shielding, step soldering, casting, ballast, and bearing assembly.

  • Copper Manganese Master Alloy

A master alloy is a blend of base metals like nickel, aluminum, or copper with one or more elements of a higher percentage. The master alloy is a semi-finished product that is available in many shapes. It can boost metallurgy processes for refining various metals.

Copper manganese master alloy has copper properties such as non-ferrous, conductivity, and softness. It can be a suitable option for boosting corrosion resistance and mechanical properties in alloys with low copper content. 

Copper Manganese Master Alloy

For the most part, the alloy can influence aluminum bronze magnetic properties and electrical conductivity. It is a deoxidizer and desulfurizer for copper-nickel alloys.

Manganese Alloy – 10 Advantages and 3 Disadvantages

Magnesium alloys form a lightweight and high-performance structural material. Its strength & rigidity are similar to aluminum, while its weight matches plastic. 

The alloy features excellent properties such as electrical conductivity, thermal conductivity, anti-electromagnetic, and strong anti-seismic. It has excellent dimensional stability, damping coefficient, low scrap rate, easy processing, and castability. 

Magnesium alloys are suitable for applications in sports equipment, electrical appliances, mobile phones, portable computers, and aerospace. Here are the pros of manganese alloys: 

  • Lightweight

Magnesium alloys’ density is about 1.83, which is ¼ of iron and 2/3 of aluminum. It is one of the lightest metals. Therefore, it can be an ideal material for various lightweight products to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and save energy. 

  • Excellent Strength

Manganese alloy gravity is more potent than plastic gravity. Nonetheless, the alloy features stronger tensile strength and bending elasticity. The tensile strength makes it ideal for walled products. 

  • Good Heat Dissipation

The thermal conductivity of manganese alloys is about 150W/mk. Also, the alloy has good heat transfer capabilities that can effectively dissipate machine internal heat. 

  • Electromagnetic Wave Shielding

Many digital products in foreign and domestic markets emit electromagnetic clutter. Thus, the products ought to control the electromagnetic clutter within the range of waves. Manganese alloys have good wave shielding since they come with high performance. 

  • Recyclability

Renewing manganese alloy into the initial raw materials is possible as it is easy to remelt the alloy. Renewing the alloys will take only 4% more raw materials than producing new ones. In other words, magnesium will likely become a practical and economical way to improve the environment. 

  • Vibration Damping

Manganese alloys feature damping properties that can help to prolong device service life and also help to reduce sound pollution. 

  • Dimensional Stability

Despite the passage of time and the change in atmospheric temperature, the size of manganese alloy products remains unchanged. Manganese alloy products also maintain their original shape longer. You cannot deform or dent the surface since the alloy has a high impact resistance level. 

Here are the disadvantages of manganese alloys: 

  • Flammability

Magnesium alloys have oxygen affinity as it quickly reacts with it in the air at high temperature. The reaction releases heat, and the resulting oxide features poor thermal conductivity. 

Manganese alloy flameability

Since it cannot diverge the heat in time, the condition promotes the oxidation reaction to form a vicious circle. Most importantly, the alloy is porous, loose and cannot block oxygen intrusion. 

  • Poor Plasticity at Room Temperature

Manganese alloys feature a close-packed hexagonal crystal layout. In simple terms, it has three slip systems and one slip plane at room temperature. Its plastic deformation depends on twinning and slip action. Thus, the tangle slip occurs in just a few crystals with slip planes inclined to the pulling force. 

  • Poor Corrosion Resistance

Manganese alloys act as an anode, are prone to corrosion from different metals, have low equilibrium potential, and feature high chemical activity. 

Effects of Manganese as an Alloy

Manganese is present in most commercial steel products since it plays a crucial role in steel production. Its chemical elements provide steel products with strength and hardness. Above all, its effects in any alloy vary based on the type and amount of the reducing agent you use in production.

Manganese comes with more hardenability impacts among its alternative alloying elements. For example, manganese steel has 10% to 14% manganese, which facilitates it to deliver excellent results in the work-hardened state. 

Most manufacturers will choose carbon as a reducing agent for manganese since it produces excellent results. In the meantime, the hot rolling procedure for steel reacts manganese with oxygen and sulfur. 

Carbon steels have up to 1.5% manganese content, but most alloys have about 0.30% of manganese. It features chemical properties that promote the carbon penetration rate in the carburizing process. 

Excessive carbon and manganese content results in embrittlement. Nonetheless, manganese forms manganese sulfide (MnS ) after reacting with sulfur, making it ideal for machining. 

Manganese sulfide counters sulfur brittleness, making it ideal for carbon steel surface finishing. In welding, using a 10:1 manganese to sulfur ratio is critical to ensure better results. 

Any weld bead you form using less than 0.30% manganese content in the alloy will incur internal porosity and cracking. Besides, it will help if you do not use excessive manganese because more than 0.8% of manganese content will also result in cracking. 

In other words, you must control the amount of manganese you add to the aluminum content to attain maximum hardness and strength. But manganese does not lower ductility or improve corrosion resistance in aluminum manganese alloys. 

All the same, manganese is a unique non-heat-treatable metal with moderate strength to sustain harsh conditions in high temperatures. Most manganese content that miners unearth goes to carbon steel and high–carbon ferromanganese production. 

Manganese alloy flameability

Even the low & high-carbon ferroalloy & electrolytic manganese apply to produce steel with minimal carbon content. Simply put, manganese can promote hardenability, abrasion, resistance, strength and hardness in its alloys. 

Other processes like desulfurizing with manganese produce high melting and stable sulfide deposits. In the case of aluminum, you must add powdered electrolytic manganese content to the alloy after briquetting it by up to 2% to promote its corrosion and wear & tear resistance. 

You can also forge better copper properties by alloying it with manganese. The manganese addition is an oxidizing element for the molten metal, reducing its liquidus and solidus state to promote castability. 

Meanwhile, manganese can be a suitable element for strengthening alloys by manufacturing unique alloys with ultimate electrical resistivity and high thermal expansion.

Manganese Alloy Availability & Application

Manganese refers to one of the most common metals in alloys worldwide. The metal deposits are in Gabon, Australia, Brazil, and Africa. Countries that import the highest amount of manganese alloys include Norway, India, China, Japan and South Korea. 

The United States has stockpiled manganese deposits since 1916, believing the material would become scarce someday. The US plans to apply manganese alloys in numerous industries, including construction, textiles, manufacturing, agriculture, machinery, medicine and transportation. 

The significant part is that research shows that 85% to 90% of the world’s manganese alloys are in the steelmaking niche. The most common variants of manganese alloys present in the steelmaking industry include silicomanganese and ferromanganese. 

Other typical applications include creating structural alloys for varnishes, glazes, welding, and oxidizing agents. Battery manufacturing is another excellent example of a business with high demand for the alloy. 

Manufacturers combine manganese, cobalt and lithium to produce quality ion batteries for phones, vehicles and computers. This statement explains why manganese alloy application in the electronic niche is becoming popular.

Difference Between Manganese Alloy and Other Metals

  • Manganese Alloy vs Stainless Steel

Manganese steel has superior wear resistance and strength, making it suitable for heavy-duty tasks like armor plating and mining equipment. On the other hand, stainless steel has superior corrosion resistance, making it ideal for application in humid and wet environments such as bathrooms and kitchens. 

Also, manganese steel comes with better elasticity, allowing it to absorb impact without cracking, while stainless steel has lower flexibility that tends to shatter due to brittleness under stress. 

Therefore, it is critical to consider the mode of application when picking between the two metals. Each metal comes with unique advantages based on the task. 

  • Manganese Alloy vs Carbon Steel

Carbon steel contains primarily carbon and iron content between 0.5% and 2%. The carbon steel metal is strong, and you can heat-treat it to raise its hardness level for applications demanding high abrasion resistance. 

The alloy is typical in automotive components like axles & engine blocks and construction tools like saws & hammers. On the other hand, alloys with manganese content come with better impact and wear & tear resistance, making them suitable for tasks that require ultimate durability and strength. 

The alloy is common in metal parts subject to heavy tears, such as crushers, dredge buckets, bulldozer blades, railroad tracks, and mining equipment. 

  • Cast Iron vs Manganese Alloy

Manganese alloy and cast iron are common materials in concrete mixer scrapers and liner plates. Well, alloys with about 13% manganese are common for their high resistance to abrasion and impact strength in the work-hardened state. 

Thus, manganese alloys are popular in railway points, rock crushers, and dredger buckets. Using manganese steel for liner scrapers and plates has several benefits over cast iron. 

They include quality assurance, longer service life, more corrosion resistance, more wear-resisting, and it is non-stick material. 

  • Manganese Alloy vs Titanium Alloy

When selecting between manganese and titanium alloy, it is vital to check out factors like density, weight, durability, strength, and cost. Several other requirements, like abrasion and wear resistance, are crucial. Although titanium is lighter, stronger, and more durable than manganese, it is costly. 

Manganese Alloy vs. Titanium Alloy

Conclusion

Since manganese alloy has optimal chemical, mechanical, and physical properties, it is common in many industries and products. Do you want to purchase the best manganese alloy plates

Tuolian Metal offers the best metal products on the modern market. We provide the best manganese alloys at low cost. Besides, you could get better results with our consultation services. Contact us today for more information!

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the manganese alloy price?

Ferro manganese alloy trades at about $1 per kilogram, and manganese steel at $5.68 per kilogram. High-carbon Ferro manganese sells at $1.2 per kilogram. Overall, factors such as location, the manufacturing process, access to ore deposits, and manganese content percentage impact the alloy’s price. 

  • Which manganese alloy is the most popular?

The most popular manganese alloys include low-carbon silicomanganese, medium-carbon silicomanganese, high-carbon silicomanganese, and ferromanganese (FeMn). The most common application of the alloy is in steel production and electronic industries.

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