How to Understand Steel

Posted on: August 20, 2018, by :

Very pragmatic, very strong , wide uses and super lifelong substance or material, we may easily think of it, Steel? Yes, the answer is steel. Now during our life we cannot leave it alone because Steel may help us such as hardware tools, construction usage, vehicle tools, metal wares in kitchen, fitness equipment in gym and public facilities. So many wide range by using steel will support our world to develop and steel really play its important role. Actually nowadays, we emphasis to develop technology, develop artificial intelligent, change our life but we cannot omit one thing, which  well use about fundamental material such as steel. By this topic, today I just share some basic knowledge about steel to help reader understanding steel from different aspects such as its types, uses and so on.

Types of Steel

I have to say there are many different grade about steel, according to statistic from the World Steel Association almost over 3,500 different grade. Each grade comprises unique environmental, physical, and chemical properties. There is a very simple common senses about composition of steel, it is consist of iron and carbon and other elements as steel’s definition. Iron is the base metal of steel, and carbon will be complement for steel’s composition. Certainly, we may think about distinguishing steel grades by how much carbon steel contain. Aim to the properties of each steel grade, it should depend on the level of additional alloy element and impurities. Actually the carbon content in steel may range since 0.1% to 1.5%, meanwhile, other elements also can find out in all grades of steel such as phosphorus, sulphur and manganese. Sulphur and phosphorus sometimes will be harmful to steel’s strength and durability even though another element manganese is favorable to steel.

  1. Alloy Steels

Alloy steel normally is harder and more durable properties because it contains many alloying elements inside like silicon, manganese, nickel, copper, chromium, titanium and aluminum and so on. So alloy steel often is in varying proportion with related other elements to show its different properties and different uses.

  1. Carbon Steels

Generally carbon steel contain tiny amounts of alloying elements and the most of carbon elements and main total amount of high rate of iron elements. According to different content of carbon there are three categories to understand carbon steel also known as wrought iron.

  • Low carbon steel, is also called mild steel contain up to about 0.3 percent carbon.
  • Medium carbon steel, its content of carbon elements is around 0.3 to 0.6 percent.
  • High carbon steel, its carbon content is much more than 0.6 percent.

  1. Tool Steels

Tool Steels has good properties about heat resistance and durability because it contains some elements in varying quantities such as tungsten, cobalt, molybdenum and vanadium.

  1. Stainless Steels

In our family, about steel we prefer to choose stainless steel even if its cost is as higher. Because its properties are high corrosion resistance with main alloying elements chromium to be contained in the steel around 10% to 20%. If chromium content is over 11%, the stainless steel is more resistant to corrosion than mild steel up to 200 times. Certainly, stainless steel also may divide into three of categories,

  • Austenitic, this kinds of stainless steel is without magnetic and heat-treatable, at the same time it contain 18 percent chromium, 8% nickel and carbon content less than 0.8 percent.
  • Ferritic, it contains trace of nickel, around 12 percent to 17 percent chromium and less than 0.1 percent carbon.
  • Martensitic, Martensitic steels contain 11% to 17% chromium, nickel content less than 0.4%, and almost 1.2% carbon. But it is magnetic and heat treatable steel.

Uses of Steels

Steel’s usage is very wide, according to steel properties we may utilize steel to produce different steel products.

  1. Alloy Steel

Normally alloy steels are with many merits as strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, harden-ability, weld-ability, form-ability and so on. These properties will determine alloy steel usage as pipelines, transformers, auto spare parts, power generators or bicycle frame, electric bicycle frame, electric motors.

  1. Carbon Steel

Carbon application is also very wide range according to its carbon content. High carbon steel may use for cutting tools. Medium carbon steel often uses for constructing bridges and buildings. Mild carbon sometimes is applied for making fences.

  1. Tool Steel

Tool steel, according to its name you may guess its uses. Normally tool steel is applied to cutting tools, punching equipment and drilling equipment, or valves, fittings, flanges because its durability and heat resistance.

  1. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel may apply to Kitchen utensils, piping, food processing equipment, dental equipment and surgical equipment.

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