variety of chain can easily be manufactured from this microalloy.
Since there is a significant increase in hardness with cold work
and a further increase in hardness with age hardening, lightweight
strong chains wear exceptionally well. If the wire is drawn through
a highly polished die, little is required beyond joining the links
to produce finished chain. This allows the production of fine handmade
chain as well as bulk chain production with automatic chain machines.
Due to the hardness of the cold drawn wire, the links can also be
diamond faceted to produce bright links.
Links can be
fused or soldered and the technique chosen depends on the size of
the wire used in manufacturing. Heavier chain links are best joined
by the 22K solder. Automatic chain machines equipped with either
a laser welding apparatus or with a mini arc welder work well if
also equipped with an argon flow over the link being welded. This
avoids the slight surface discoloration at the weld and, since the
microalloy is in a molten state so briefly, there is little loss
in the cold worked hardness. The soldering and age hardening steps
can be carried out together decreasing production time.