HSLegend wrote:Iron vs Steel is largely about the Carbon content.
Iron metal alloys are high in carbon. (Alloy meaning additives to the ferrous metal)
In Cast Iron the alloy is hard and brittle.
In Ductile Iron (also "cast") the alloy contains nodular graphite which gives ductility (bend instead of break)
Steel alloys are low in carbon.
Cast Steel alloys are stronger than the Iron alloys.
Steel alloys that are forged gain properties (e.g., grain) that are stronger and more ductile than cast steel or the Iron alloys.
Horseshoes can be and are made with any of the above.
- Cast Iron are what you pay $19.99 for at the big box store and get 4 horseshoes and 2 stakes and can expect to break within one day of use. Materials and process are of low expense.
- Ductile Iron has improved flex and strength. Cost of materials and process is higher than cast iron but lower than steel and forging. Apparently, many of today’s pro style horseshoes are in this group.
- Cast Steel is more expensive yet to produce. M&M appears to be in this category. Casting methods allow for more design intricacy than forging, although not many horseshoes are intricate enough that they couldn't be forged.
- Forged Steel is the gold standard for the properties of which other materials and methods shoot for, but forging steel is the most expensive of materials and in its process. For the added cost, however, you obtain elimination of cast porosity, higher tinsel strength, and greater ductility, all in less volume, resulting in better fatigue resistance and performance, and an overall longer life of the item, all differences being statistically significant. In the past, all pitching horseshoes were forged. Today, however, not many horseshoes are forged any longer due to the higher costs and the development of ductile iron processing's improvements over cast iron. Forged shoes are Gordons, Legends, Clydesdales, Allens, Diamonds, and Americans.
Tempering processes are affected by the alloy and thereby may differ in temperature and duration among the processes. Tempering can improve or reduce strength and ductility in the groups above. For example, in Horseshoes, the hooks are often tempered to make them harder than the rest of the shoe.
Ylorg wrote:Over the last 7-8 years I've broken quite a few horseshoes, so I'm curious what's a good life of a horseshoe?
I know the life of a horseshoe has a lot to do with who is pitching the shoe and where the shoe is consistently landing. Assuming that a pitcher at least hits the stake each pitch, what is a good number of pitches to determine the life of the horseshoe? Could it be 10,000 pitches, 20,000 or more?
Clank wrote:Update. I have pitched my set of drop forged St. Pierre Eagles 6 months and they have not broken. I was breaking cast shoes, Waves and then Glories, about every three months.
Clank wrote:In the several years that I have had a set of Legends (drop forged). I am rather certain that I have pitched them more times than the cast shoes I broke. LarryMac, I don't understand how you were getting a year out of your cast shoes unless the quality of steel used in the AF shoes was better than the Glories. Funny thing---I bought four Glories over five years ago---and pitched the heck out of them until they had actually wore down a few ounces---and they didn't break. About 2 years back I replaced them with newer Glories and they began to break, almost on schedule.
LarryMac wrote:Clank you are probably right after thinking about it. I pitch at least 100 shoes most days, more in the summer. What I wasn't thinking about is I pitch 4 shoes in practice so I am only pitching the shoes half as much as I first estimated so maybe 6 months would be closer. Ever what it is I think it is too often and it doesn't take long for the ringer breaker to wear down so it isn't much different than the TA shoe.
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