What constitute a steel?

How can we affect the properties of steels by alloying elements addition? I will try to expose insight on the hidden mysteries of material properties .

Steels are primarily iron with 1.0 % Carbon plus other alloying elements. In the majority , total alloying additions is less than 5 % but some cases, it could be as high as 50%.

Steels are just like a “recipe” where different alloying elements (ingredients) make final product of steel. Each alloying element affects the mechanical properties in a different way depending upon its quantity and type of additions and their proportions.

We can affect the following physical in different way by these additions.

  • Strength: to withstand load in tension .
  • Hardness: ability to resist the scratching / abrasion.
  • Toughness: ability to absorb energy during sudden sudden loading without fracture.
  • Fatigue: Resistance to weakening of material caused by repetitive applied load .
  • Molding: Ability or ease in which metal molded into final product.
  • Mach-inability: ability to ease in machining to process into final shape with cutting tools.
  • Weldability : Ease in which metal can be joined with same / other metals.
  • Corrosion Resistance: With respect to service environment .

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