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What axle material do you use? What makes your axles stronger than stock? Why induction hardening vs thru hardening? Why are your axles machined after heat treating? These are just a few of the questions we address every day at Dutchman.
The Dutchman line of flanged alloy axles are made from 1541-H material. 1541-H contains 1.5-2 percent manganese, which allows for a deeper case hardening and tighter grain structure-which ultimately makes for a "stronger than stock" axle shaft. In our line of performance front axles shafts, we use the 4340 "Chromoly" material which is thru hardenable. The design of the shaft and U-Joint ears necessitates the thru hardening process as it is not practical to induction harden the ears.
4340 vs. 1541-H. 4340 has more tensile strength than 1541-H, will take more twisting forces, but cannot take bending forces as well as 1541-H. Flanged axles are overhung beyond the wheel bearing and are subject to these bending forces-especially in the world of wider and/or larger diameter tires. The hard case and soft core design of a 1541-H flanged axle enable the shaft to bend, flex, and spring back. Properly executed, both 4340 "thru hardened" and an upgraded 1541-H "induction hardened" shaft can achieve nearly the same results in strength in the area of torsional strength (twist forces), but the design of an induction hardened shaft usually yields more bending (life) cycles than a thru hardened 4340 shaft. 4340 is more expensive than 1541-H, thus is reserved for the front shafts only which need the heat treated U-Joint ears for strength reasons.