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When carbon in small quantities is added to iron, Steel is obtained.

Steel in its simplest form can be defined as alloy of Iron (Fe) and

Carbon (C).

Steel also contains negligible amount of Sulfur as impurity, which is induced during steelmaking in blast-furnace.

Iron (Fe)

Carbon (C)

Plain Carbon Steel

The Carbon % in Steel is in the range of 0.02 % to 2.1 % by weight.

Too little C% leads to pure Iron which is pure, soft and weak in nature, while C% higher than 2.1% leads to form Pig Iron which is brittle.

Alloy Steels are obtained by adding one or more alloying element

such as Silicon (Si) , Molybdenum, Chromium etc.

Iron (Fe)

Carbon (C)

Alloying Element

Alloy Steel

Classification Of Steels

Plain Carbon Steels

Alloy Steels
Nickel Steels

Low Carbon Steels C% < 0.3%

Molybdenum Steels
Med. Carbon Steels C% = 0.3 to 0.6%

Chromium Steels
High Carbon Steels C% = 0.6 to 0.95%

Vanadium Steels

Other elements (besides carbon) can be added to iron to improve

mechanical property, manufacturing, or environmental property for following: 1. To improve hardenability

2. To improve resistance to softening

3. To improve resistance to corrosion and oxidation

4. To improve high temperature properties

5. To improve resistance to abrasion

6. To strengthen steels.

Effects Of Various Alloying Elements

Nickel Alloys: Adding Nickel provides strength, stability and toughness. It also reduces the coefficient of thermal expansion. Molybdenum Alloys: Increases the hardenability and strength. Chromium Alloys: Like Molybdenum it also increases hardenability and

strength but in addition offers corrosion resistance by forming stable

oxide surface. E.G. Stainless Steel. Vanadium Alloys: Vanadium is used to improve properties when

subjected to elevated temperatures. E.G. It induces resistance to

softening at high temperatures.

AISI - SAE Classification System

American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) classifies alloys by chemistry 4 digit number 1. 1st number is the major alloying element 2. 2nd number designates the subgroup alloying element OR the relative % of primary alloying element. 3. Last two numbers approximate amount of carbon(expresses in 0.01%)

E.G. 1080 steel stands for Plain Carbon Steel as, 1 Major alloying element is Carbon. 0 No alloying element. 80 0.8% Carbon present. E.G. 4340 steel Stands for Mo-Cr-Ni alloy with 0.40% carbon 4 Major alloying element is Molybdenum. 3 Nickel-Chromium is the alloying element. 40 0.4% Carbon present.

SAE designation 1xxx 2xxx 3xxx 4xxx 5xxx

Type Carbon steels Nickel steels Nickel-chromium steels Molybdenum steels Chromium steels Chromium-vanadium steels Tungsten steels Nickel-chromiummolybdenum steels

7xxx 8xxx 9xxx

Silicon-manganese steels

Applications Of Steel
1) Construction: Majority of steel production goes into this application. E.G. are, Building constructions, Infrastructural developments, Railway expansions etc. 2) Automotive Applications: Different types of steels used for car body, door panels, engine components, gearbox components etc. 3) Energy Sector Applications: Large amount of steel is required for fuel pipelines on energy projects, building wind turbines, electromagnets, transformer cores etc. 4) Household: About 75% of home utensils are made of steel now days.

General Facts About Steel

The extensive range of mechanical properties could be obtained from 200 MPa to as high as 2000 MPa by introducing alloying elements. Around 90% of the total amount of metals used by men for various applications are ferrous alloys which Includes mainly steel and cast iron. Steel is considered to be a major resource required in industry as well as in national interest. Thats why India has separate Ministry Of Steel which formulates policies for Steel production, pricing etc.