Silver steel properties depend on how you treat it (especially heat treat it). Its a high carbon steel with some chromium, and the chromium may help its hardenability (no doubt someone will shoot me down in flames if I am wrong). What properties are you after, hardness, toughness, tensile strength ?
Piano wire is very high tensile stuff, high carbon steel. I think that is has the benefit of heat treatment and being drawn through a die to impart some cold work and get it dimensionally perfect. But like any carbon steel you can make it change by heat treatment. AFIK its a plain carbon steel, i.e. negligible chromium or other exotics. I think in old fashioned units we are talking 100 to 120 tons per square inch or more (luv them units!).
Thats the wonderful thing about steel, you can soften it to machine it, and then harden it by heat treatment. And all metals can be hardened by cold work too (hammering, drawing, rolling, shot peening, etc ). Composition is just the start, there are lots of different physical properties, and some - like ultimate hardness - might mean a tool that shatters if given a shock.
Perhaps I should have said what I am trying to achieve.
Here's an image of the 'problem'
I have made a swing axle for landing gear on a model a/c. I have bent 2mm (14g) piano wire (?) into a Z shape. I am not sure if it is piano wire or not, but as it is, it has taken some highish loads without yielding.
I need to bend a radius on the Z as tight as possible without cracking.....oh yes, and I need the bend angle to be 85 degrees with minimal deformation near the bends!
Should I use 2mm silver steel or 14g piano wire?...... I have sourced a 2mm reamer...at last.....and doubt I could get a 14g reamer(?).
Hello Peter, I do a fair bit of r/c aero stuff as well so we have some common ground. Silver steel will almost certainly be too hard to bend as you require and although I'm not completely clear how the component works, silver steel will not be very springy. I'd always use piano wire for tis sort of part.
That said it is getting a bit difficult to get proper piano wire; you can forget the ground finish junk that many model shops a flogging at present, I don't know what grade of banana it is but it's crap. As I expect you know 'real' piano wire has a bright finish from being drawn The most reliable source is the American imported stuff although it's in inch (not SWG) sizes and is a somewhat dull finish.
For this sort of job, you'd probably be OK just drilling the hole rather than going to the trouble of reaming, but guilding the lilly is certainly nicer.