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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking at some old railroad spikes today and I noticed that they have the letters "W", "H", and "C" on the round end. What does this stand for? Is it a company name, the grade of the metal, or something else? Plese advise./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gif


Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Since posting this, I read online at a few "question/answer" sites that the "WHC" stands for W - water quenched, HC - high carbon content steel. Does this make sense to all you railroad/steel guys? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/unsure.gif

Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Posted By SlateCreek on 04/25/2008 6:01 AM
"Whack Here, Charley."

or maybe

"Wield Hammer Carefully."

Oh I am LMAO so hard on this one...../DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/laugh.gif

I think this guy said it all on a knife forum:
"I see a "misuse" of the term "high carbon" over and over when folks refer to the spikes. The misuse of the term may not necessarily mean that a given person doesn't know that the spikes really are in terms of carbon content, but it sure could lead to confusion and myths about railroad spikes. Many of them are marked at the top "HC" and "WHC". Folks have assumed that that meant "high carbon", and "water/high carbon". Whether or not this is what the manufacture's intended the marks to mean is a question I can't answer, but the one's marked that way are generally "hardenable". The markings may be the source of the confusion. I think spark testing the spikes first is always a good idea.

I don't have any specs on hand as I'm writing, and they do vary slightly depending on the source, but here's a "general" breakdown:

"Low" carbon is, .5 and less.
"Medium" carbon is, .5 to .75.
"High" carbon is, .75 and up.

Hardenable railroad spikes are right around .5 percent carbon, which makes them either the high end of the low carbon range, or the low end of the medium carbon range."

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