ThePipingMart Blog Grades SAE/AISI 5160 Alloy Steel (UNS G51600) – Composition, Properties and Uses

SAE/AISI 5160 Alloy Steel (UNS G51600) – Composition, Properties and Uses

SAE / AISI 5160 Steel

Steel is an incredibly versatile material with a wide range of applications and uses. One steel alloy, in particular, is AISI 5160, which is the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) designation for spring steel. Regarding steel alloys, the AISI 5160 is a standout option that delivers impressive durability and toughness. Also referred to as SAE 5160 or UNS G51600, this alloy is primarily composed of iron and carbon, with other elements like manganese, chromium, and silicon added in smaller quantities to achieve its unique properties. AISI 5160 alloy steel boasts excellent resiliency and resistance to abrasion, making it a popular choice for applications that require reliable performance in demanding environments. Additionally, this alloy can be hardened through quenching and tempering, further enhancing its mechanical strength. Overall, AISI 5160 is a dependable and versatile option for those seeking a steel alloy that delivers on both composition and properties.

What Forms of AISI 5160 is Available at Piping Mart?

  • Nut
  • Bar
  • Bolt
  • Pipe
  • Screw
  • Tubing
  • Valves
  • Washers
  • Flanges
  • Fasteners
  • Electrodes
  • Stud Bolts
  • Sheet Plates
  • Pipe Fittings
  • Forged Fitting
  • Instrumentation Fittings

AISI 5160 Composition

Element Content (%)
Iron, Fe 97.085 – 97.84
Manganese, Mn 0.750 – 1
Chromium, Cr 0.7 – 0.9
Carbon, C 0.560 – 0.640
Phosphorous, P ≤ 0.0350
Silicon, Si 0.150 – 0.3
Sulfur, S ≤ 0.04

AISI 5160 Physical Properties

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 7.85 g/cm3 0.284 lb/in³

AISI 5160 Mechanical Properties

Properties Metric Imperial
Tensile strength, ultimate 724 MPa 105000 psi
Tensile strength, yield 275 MPa 39900 psi
Modulus of elasticity 190-210 GPa 27557-30458 ksi
Bulk modulus (typical for steel) 140 GPa 20300 ksi
Shear modulus (typical for steels) 80 GPa 11600 ksi
Poissons ratio 0.27 – 0.30 0.27-0.30
Elongation at break (in 50mm) 17.20% 17.20%
Hardness, Brinell 197 197
Hardness, Knoop (converted from Brinell hardness) 219 219
Hardness, Rockwell B (converted from Brinell hardness) 92 92
Hardness, Rockwell C (converted from Brinell hardness, value below normal HRC range, for comparison purposes only) 13 13
Hardness, Vickers (converted from Brinell hardness) 207 207
Machinability (spheroidized annealed and cold drawn. Based on 100% machinability for AISI 1212 steel) 55 55

AISI 5160 Thermal Properties

Properties Metric Imperial
Thermal conductivity 46.6 W/mK 323 BTU in/hr.ft2. °F

AISI 5160 Equivalent

  • ASTM A29
  • ASTM A322
  • ASTM A331
  • ASTM A505
  • ASTM A519
  • ASTM A752
  • ASTM A829
  • SAE J1397
  • SAE J404
  • SAE J412
  • SAE J770

AISI 5160 Uses

The inherent strength of AISI 5160 makes it ideal for use in a variety of applications. Its high carbon content also makes it ideal for springs and other components that require toughness and good wear resistance. It is also used to produce ball bearings and clutch plates. Additionally, it can be found in knives and swords because it can hold an edge well.

AISI 5160 Uses in Industries

Automotive Industry

One of the most common uses of AISI 5160 steel is in the automotive industry. This type of steel is often used to make leaf springs, which are an essential component in vehicle suspension systems. The high strength and durability of AISI 5160 make it a popular choice for this application, as it can withstand heavy loads and maintain its shape over time.

Agricultural Equipment

AISI 5160 is also commonly used to manufacture agricultural equipment such as plows, harrows, and cultivators. These tools require strong and durable materials to withstand the harsh conditions of farming, and AISI 5160 meets these requirements. Its ability to withstand heavy use and wear and tear makes it a reliable choice for agricultural equipment.

Construction Industry

AISI 5160 is often used in the construction industry for making high-strength bolts and fasteners. These components are crucial for holding structures together, and the toughness of AISI 5160 makes it a suitable material for this purpose. Additionally, its resistance to fatigue makes it ideal for use in construction projects that require long-term durability.

Aerospace Industry

AISI 5160 is also utilized in the aerospace industry due to its high strength-to-weight ratio. It is commonly used in aircraft landing gear components such as springs and shock absorbers, where weight reduction is critical without compromising strength and performance.

Oil & Gas Industry

The oil & gas industry also relies on AISI 5160 steel for various applications such as drill collars, sucker rods, and pump shafts. These components require exceptional strength and resistance to corrosion due to their exposure to harsh environments, making AISI 5160 an ideal choice.

AISI 5160 Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance is an important factor when selecting any type of steel alloy. Fortunately, SAE/AISI 5160 has excellent corrosion resistance properties due to its high chromium content (1%). This allows it to withstand exposure to moisture better than other alloys without sacrificing strength or performance.

AISI 5160 Heat Resistance

While this type of steel has excellent heat resistance properties (it can withstand temperatures up to 600°F without significant degradation), its heat treatment process must be done properly for the alloy to retain its strength over time. If not done correctly, the steel may become less effective or even brittle after long-term exposure to extreme temperatures.

AISI 5160 Heat Treatment

Heat treating this type of alloy involves heating it up very quickly (quenching) followed by a slow cool down (tempering). The quenching process helps keep the structure uniform, while tempering increases the hardness and durability of the metal while still allowing some flexibility. Additionally, proper heat treatment helps prevent brittleness due to thermal shock or fatigue over time.

AISI 5160 Machining

Machining this alloy requires special tools such as drills, saws, taps, reamers, etc., specifically designed for use on spring steels like this one. Additionally, equipment used should be coated with anti-corrosive oil or lubricants made specifically for use on steels like this one and coolants capable of cutting through tough steels like these ones too. Finally, using the correct cutting speeds and feeds will help ensure optimal results from machining operations.

AISI 5160 Welding

Welding this alloy requires special techniques such as shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, gas metal arc welding, etc. Due to its high carbon content, preheat treatments are required before starting welding operations for optimal results. Also, post-weld treatments are necessary after finishing up welding operations in order to ensure no cracks or holes have formed due to excessive heat during welding operations.


In conclusion, SAE/AISI 5160 is a versatile alloy that offers great strength, durability, corrosion resistance, and heat resistance when properly handled. Its wide range of uses makes it useful in many different industries, including automotive, aerospace, construction, military & defense, etc. With proper care taken during the machining & welding processes, this alloy can provide years of reliable service with minimal maintenance requirements. Proper research should always be done before beginning any project involving this type of steel so that you can get the most out of your materials & investments!

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