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Alloying of Steels

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Steel Alloys
Below is a list of some SAE-AISI designations for Steel (the xx in the last two digits indicate the carbon content in hundredths of a percent)
Carbon Steels 10xx 11xx 12xx Manganese steels 13xx Nickel steels 23xx 25xx Nickel Chromium Steels 31xx 32xx 33xx 34xx Chromium Molybdenum steels 41xx Nickel Chromium Molybdenum steels 43xx 47xx 86xx Nickel Molybdenum steels 46xx 48xx Chromium steels 50xx 51xx Plain Carbon Resulfurized Resulfurized and rephosphorized Mn 1.75 Ni 3.5 Ni 5.0 Ni 1.25 Ni 1.75 Ni 3.50 Ni 3.00 Cr Cr Cr Cr 0.65-0.80 1.07 1.50-1.57 0.77

Cr 0.50-0.95 Mo 0.12-0.30

Ni 1.82 Cr 0.50-0.80 Mo 0.25 Ni 1.05 Cr 0.45 Mo 0.20 – 0.35 Ni 0.55 Cr 0.50 Mo 0.20 Ni 0.85-1.82 Mo 0.20 Ni 3.50 Mo 0.25 Cr 0.27- 0.65 Cr 0.80 – 1.05 Illustration of effect of Carbon content on Steel Hardness


Effects of Elements on Steel
Steels are among the most commonly used alloys. The complexity of steel alloys is fairly significant. Not all effects of the varying elements are included. The following text gives an overview of some of the effects of various alloying elements. Additional research should be performed prior to making any design or engineering conclusions. Carbon has a major effect on steel properties. Carbon is the primary hardening element in steel. Hardness and tensile strength increases as carbon content increases up to about 0.85% C as shown in the figure above. Ductility and weldability decrease with increasing carbon. Manganese is generally beneficial to surface quality especially in resulfurized steels. Manganese contributes to strength and hardness, but less than carbon. The increase in strength is dependent upon the carbon content. Increasing the manganese content decreases ductility and weldability, but less than carbon. Manganese has a significant effect on the hardenability of steel. Phosphorus increases strength and hardness and decreases ductility and notch impact toughness of steel. The adverse effects on ductility and toughness are greater in quenched and tempered higher-carbon steels. Phosphorous levels are normally controlled to low levels. Higher phosphorus is specified in low-carbon free-machining steels to improve machinability. Sulfur decreases ductility and notch impact toughness especially in the transverse direction.

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Molybdenum may produce secondary hardening during the tempering of quenched steels. Copper can be detrimental to surface quality. and to retard the recrystallization of austenite. chromium contributes increased strength. As a hardening element. sufficient heating time must be allowed for prior to quenching. Vanadium is one of the primary contributors to precipitation strengthening in microalloyed steels. It remains in solution in ferrite. to increase hardenability. Weathering steels are sold having greater than 0.003%. Chromium is frequently used with a toughening element such as nickel to produce superior mechanical properties. The only exception is free-machining steels. Aluminum is widely used as a deoxidizer. Molybdenum increases the hardenability of steel. Titanium. Boron is most effective in lower carbon steels.20%. Vanadium increases the yield strength and the tensile strength of carbon steel. Aluminum is the most effective alloy in controlling grain growth prior to quenching. The addition of small amounts of Niobium can significantly increase the yield strength of steels.0005 to 0.20% Copper. Silicon is less effective than manganese in increasing as-rolled strength and hardness. Copper is beneficial to atmospheric corrosion resistance when present in amounts exceeding 0. silicon is generally detrimental to surface quality. Niobium (Columbium) increases the yield strength and.003%. thus promoting a fine-grain microstructure having improved strength and toughness.0005 to 0. Nickel does not form carbides in steel. Boron-treated steels are produced to a range of 0. Niobium can also have a moderate precipitation strengthening effect. It enhances the creep strength of low-alloy steels at elevated temperatures. Copper negatively affects forge welding. Zirconium can be added to killed high-strength low-alloy steels to achieve improvements in inclusion characteristics. Titanium is also used to achieve improvements in inclusion Boron is added to fully killed steel to improve hardenability. In low-carbon steels. Whenever boron is substituted in part for other alloys. A very small amount of boron (about 0. Silicon is one of the principal deoxidizers used in steelmaking. but does not seriously affect arc or oxyacetylene welding. zirconium. Nickel increases the hardenability and impact strength of steels. Chromium is a strong carbide former. Chromium is commonly added to steel to increase corrosion resistance and oxidation resistance. Nickel is a ferrite strengthener. the tensile strength of carbon steel. Lead is virtually insoluble in liquid or solid steel. Boron is a potent alloying element in steel. Titanium is used to retard grain growth and thus improve toughness.001%) has a strong effect on hardenability.Alloying of Steels http://www. but there carbides are difficult to dissolve into solution in austenite. Its main contributions are to form precipitates above the transformation temperature. it should be done only with hardenability in mind because the lowered alloy content may be harmful for some applications. Titanium causes sulfide inclusions to be globular rather than elongated thus improving toughness and ductility in transverse bending. and vanadium are also valuable grain growth inhibitors. The impact transition temperature also increases when vanadium is added. The addition of small amounts of Vanadium can significantly increase the strength of steels. Sulfur levels are normally controlled to low levels. to a lesser degree. Sulfur is found primarily in the form of sulfide inclusions. where sulfur is added to improve machinability. Boron steels are generally produced within a range of 0. However. Copper in significant amounts is detrimental to hot-working steels. Zirconium causes sulfide inclusions to be globular rather than elongated thus improving toughness and ductility in transverse bending. Aluminum can control austenite grain growth in reheated steels and is therefore added to control grain size. or to improve high-temperature strength.materialsengineer. lead is sometimes added to carbon and alloy steels by means of mechanical dispersion during pouring to improve the machinability. 2 of 3 spihS evitomotuA gnissecorP dooF repaP dna pluP gnissecorP lacimehC sessertS laudiseR stfahS muinatiT reppoC munimulA leetS sselniatS leetS syollA 2/2/2013 12:07 AM . At higher temperatures. strengthening and toughening the ferrite phase.htm Weldability decreases with increasing sulfur content. When thermomechanical processing is properly controlled the ferrite grain size is refined and there is a corresponding increase in toughness. therefore. Complex chromium-iron carbides go into solution in austenite slowly.

com with questions or comments about this web site.htm All microalloy steels contain small concentrations of one or more strong carbide and nitride forming elements. and titanium combine preferentially with carbon and/or nitrogen to form a fine dispersion of precipitated particles in the steel matrix. 2012 3 of 3 2/2/2013 12:07 AM .com [ Home ] [ Failure Analysis ] [ Root Cause Analysis ] [ Welding ] [ Metallurgy ] [ Process Control ] [ Expert Witness ] [ Experience ] [ Customer Cases ] [ Fees ] [ Links ] Send mail to Help@MaterialsEngineer.materialsengineer.Alloying of Steels http://www. FL 32714 Electronic mail General Information: Webmaster: Help@MaterialsEngineer.#166 Altamonte Customer Support: Support@MaterialsEngineer. Copyright © 1999 Metallurgical Consultants Last modified: January 25. niobium. Vanadium. State Road 434 Suite 1004 . [ Up ] [ Steels ] [ Alloying of Steels ] [ Steel Properties Overview ] [ Steel Heat Treatment Terminology ] [ Stainless Steels ] [ Aluminum ] [ Copper ] [ Titanium ] [ Unified Numbering System ] Contact Information Telephone 407-880-4945 assistance is only available for customers FAX Postal address AMC 380 S.