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Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

Article about: Hi Guys, I have a very interesting question I want to bring up for any Panzer track link collectors: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic? The reason I am asking is because from my research, th

  1. #1

    Default Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    Hi Guys, I have a very interesting question I want to bring up for any Panzer track link collectors: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    The reason I am asking is because from my research, the material used to build Tank track link should be Mangalloy (Also called manganese steel or Hadfield steel), at least for modern tanks. and this kind of steel is not magnetic.

    I have recently purchased two Panzer track link parts from eBay, one is an ice cleat from Panzer IV, the other one is a track link from Panzer V (Panther), I used a magnet to test both piece, the ice cleat from Panzer IV is not magnetic, but the track link from Panther is magnetic. so I am not sure how to explain this? I hope the panther track link is not a counterfeit or something.

    So please can any panzer track link owner test your collection and see if it is magnetic?

    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2

    Default Re: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    If my recollection is correct, Mangalloy was considered an exotic metal. Very expensive at the time.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    Thanks for the reply, so do you mean the WWII German army were not using Mangalloy to build tank track link? What kind of steel did they use?

  4. #4

    Default Re: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    I had a Kettenkrad and the track links were Magnetic steel and other German track links i have found have all been the same

  5. #5

    Default Re: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    All my Panzer links are magnetic, with the exception of the Panzer I and Winterketten links. All are very definitely genuine, so I guess that a variety of alloys were used.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    German tank tracks were made of manganese steel, as were the associated ice cleats (or grousers), so I find it odd that you should have a track link that is plain steel as it wouldn't last 5 minutes. Here's an interesting link with some excellent photo's of the various types of winterketten, ostketten and other types of grousers showing how they fitted onto the tracks.

    Winter/mud tracks for Pz.Kpfw III/IV and variants - The Firing Line - World of Tanks official forum

    Perhaps material shortages towards the latter part of the war necessitated the use of more readily available carbon steel?

    Regards, Ned.
    'I do not think we can hope for any better thing now.
    We shall stick it out to the end, but we are getting weaker of course, and the end cannot be far.
    It seems a pity, but I do not think I can write more. R. SCOTT.
    Last Entry - For God's sake look after our people.'

    In memory of Capt. Robert Falcon Scott, Edward Wilson, Henry Bowers, Lawrence Oates and Edgar Evans. South Pole Expedition, 30th March 1912.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    Quoting something written by Joseph R. Zrodlowski on another forum:

    "The reason is that the percentage of alloys added during the production of steel have an effect on the magnetic properties of the finished steel products. The tracks which you found to be non-magnetic fall into the category of austenitic stainless steels. Austenitic stainless steel's magnetic properties are affected by the alloy's nickel concentration, as well as the small amounts of manganese (about 1 percent), carbon (less than 0.08 percent) and nitrogen (about 0.06 percent). If you have any of the Spielberger or Jentz reference books on various tanks/AFVs, there is usually an explanation of the composition of the metal used to produce the tracks. The higher the alloy content, percentage-wise, will indicate which ones are less magnetic.

    As the war progressed, there were shortages of strategic materials such as maganese, chromium, copper, etc. Those materials were no longer being used as alloys for things like tracks, since they were necessary elsewhere. The late PzIV tracks were manufactured from steel which didn't contain the previous additions of alloys because of the reason previously stated. That's why they were "magnetic". "

  8. #8

    Default Re: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    Quote by steverobertsbbc View Post
    All my Panzer links are magnetic, with the exception of the Panzer I and Winterketten links. All are very definitely genuine, so I guess that a variety of alloys were used.
    Hi, I remember you have quite a collection including track link from Panther, Tiger I, King Tiger and Elephant, are you saying they are all magnetic?

  9. #9

    Default Re: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    Yes, all except the Panzer I and Winterketten. Which makes sense really, as those two are early production tracks when the alloy materials weren't in short supply.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Is the Panzer Track Link Magnetic?

    Quote by steverobertsbbc View Post
    Quoting something written by Joseph R. Zrodlowski on another forum:

    "As the war progressed, there were shortages of strategic materials such as maganese, chromium, copper, etc. Those materials were no longer being used as alloys for things like tracks, since they were necessary elsewhere. The late PzIV tracks were manufactured from steel which didn't contain the previous additions of alloys because of the reason previously stated. That's why they were "magnetic". "
    I found this really interesting, if the above statement is true, how did the Germans build the Tank Track and make some actual usable for such heavy tank like panther and Tiger without the strategic materials? Anyone has more information on WWII German Steels?

    Thanks!

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