File Name: stainless steel properties and uses .zip
Steel is a combination of iron and carbon, but did you know there are more than 3, different grades of steel?
Christian Cavallo. Steel is an alloy — that is, a metal made from blending so-called alloying elements into a base metal — and it provides a quite literal backbone for modern industry. Steel is composed of primarily carbon and iron, with other trace elements that can give steels unique properties from each other. One class of steels is known as the stainless steels , which utilizes chromium to reduce the usual corrosion experienced by most iron-based materials.
This article will explore the most common stainless steel, steel , and will investigate its physical, mechanical, and working properties. Designers will gain a better understanding of what this material is, how it works, and where steel is applied in industry so that they can potentially select this material for use in their own projects. Steel names can get confusing, as the same alloy can have different identifiers depending on which system is used; however, understand that the chemical composition of most alloy blends remains the same across classification systems.
To learn more about the differences among stainless steels, feel free to read our article on the type of stainless steel. Type steel is part of the 3xx stainless steels or those alloys which are blended with chromium and nickel.
Below is a chemical breakdown of steel:. Type steel also comes into three main varieties: , L , and H alloys, which chemically differ based on carbon content. In general, L is reserved for large welding components that do not require post-welding annealing, as the low carbon percentages increase ductility.
Conversely, H is most used in elevated temperatures where the increased carbon content helps preserve its strength while hot. Type steel is austenitic, which is simply a type of molecular structure made from the iron-chromium-nickel alloy blend. It makes steel essentially non-magnetic, and gives it a lower weakness to corrosion between grains thanks to austenitic steels being generally low carbon. Type steel, being the most popular stainless steel, is naturally chosen for its corrosion resistance.
It can resist rusting in many different environments, only being majorly attacked by chlorides. It also experiences increased pitting in warm temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius , though the higher carbon grades H mitigate this effect considerably.
This means that steel mainly rusts not in high temperatures, but in aqueous solutions where continuous contact with corrosive materials can wear down the alloy. If corrosion resistance is of high priority to a project, L is the best choice as its decreased carbon content reduces intergranular corrosion.
Table 1 shows some basic mechanical properties of steel. The following section will briefly detail each of these parameters, and show how they are pertinent to the working properties of steel. The ultimate tensile and tensile yield strengths are a measure of a material's resilience to tensile pulling forces. The yield strength is lower than the ultimate strength, as the yield strength describes the maximum stress before the material will deform permanently, whereas the ultimate strength refers to the maximum stress before fracture.
While not as strong as some other steels available, the decreased strengths allow this metal to be easily worked into shape and manipulated without much difficulty. A harder material will not scratch easily and is typically more brittle, while a softer material will deform under local surface stress and is generally more ductile. The higher the Rockwell hardness, the harder the material, but to what degree depends on how it compares to other metals on the same scale.
Simply put, steel is not as hard as some of its stainless steel brothers such as steel see our article on steel for more information , but still holds its own as a tough general purpose steel.
Type steel has a range of elastic moduli, depending upon what type is used, but they all lie within GPa. As with most steels, the elastic modulus of steel is quite high, meaning it will not easily deform under stress; however, note that a lower elastic modulus makes it easier to machine, so is often fabricated to have a lower elastic modulus to allow for easy machining.
A relatively obscure, but nevertheless important measure of a material is how much energy is absorbed when it is stuck by a large force, which will show how it fractures under stress. It is vital to know how a material will break, as some applications will desire a more ductile failure scenario over a more brittle fracture. The Charpy impact test uses a large pendulum that swings into a notched specimen of steel to simulate these conditions, where a gauge will show how much energy is transferred from the pendulum into the metal.
A low Charpy impact score means that the material is generally harder, where its rigid crystal structure would rather simply fracture under the high energy pendulum force. This value is yet more proof that steel is easily worked and manipulated, where fracture is less likely under stressful conditions.
Its excellent weldability, machinability, and workability suits these stainless steels to applications that require a level of corrosion resistance as well as complexity. As a result, has found many uses, such as:. Through this list, it is clear that steel is effective in many different areas.
Its excellent working characteristics, combined with its extensive history and availability make it a great first choice when choosing a stainless steel. As always, contact your supplier to determine how your specifications can be met, and to see if steel is the right metal for the job.
This article presented a brief summary of the properties, strength, and applications of steel. For information on other products, consult our additional guides or visit the Thomas Supplier Discovery Platform to locate potential sources of supply or view details on specific products. Enlist Your Company ico-arrow-default-right. Guides Christian Cavallo Share:. Brass - What's the Difference? Select From Over , Industrial Suppliers.
Stainless steel's resistance to rusting results from the presence of chromium in the alloy, which forms a passive film that protects the underlying material from corrosion attack, and can self-heal in the presence of oxygen. The addition of nitrogen also improves resistance to pitting corrosion and increases mechanical strength. Resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance, and familiar luster make stainless steel an ideal material for many applications where both the strength of steel and corrosion resistance are required. Moreover, stainless steel can be rolled into sheets , plates, bars, wire, and tubing. These can be used in cookware , cutlery , surgical instruments , major appliances , construction material in large buildings, industrial equipment e.
Christian Cavallo. Steel is an alloy — that is, a metal made from blending so-called alloying elements into a base metal — and it provides a quite literal backbone for modern industry. Steel is composed of primarily carbon and iron, with other trace elements that can give steels unique properties from each other. One class of steels is known as the stainless steels , which utilizes chromium to reduce the usual corrosion experienced by most iron-based materials. This article will explore the most common stainless steel, steel , and will investigate its physical, mechanical, and working properties.
Stainless steel is the name of a family of iron-based alloys known for their corrosion and heat resistance. One of the main characteristics of stainless steel is its minimum chromium content of Like other steels, stainless steel is composed primarily from iron and carbon, but with the addition of several other alloying elements, the most prominent being chromium. Other common alloys found in stainless steel are nickel, magnesium, molybdenum, and nitrogen. Stainless steel has many desirable properties that contribute greatly to its widespread application in the making of parts and components across many industrial sectors. Above all, because of its chromium content, it is extremely resistant to corrosion. The
Stainless steel represents one of the more recent groups of engineering materials. Although invented at the beginning of the 20th Century, it took several decades before their use became widespread. It was not until after the World War 2, that modern stainless steels were developed and commonly used. The single most important property of stainless steel is their corrosion resistance.
Stainless steel is not a single material but the name for a family of corrosion resistant steels. Like many scientific discoveries the origins of stainless steel lies in a serendipitous accident. In Sheffield, England, Harry Brearley was investigating the development of new steel alloys for use in gun barrels. The first application of these steels was in cutlery for which Sheffield subsequently became world famous. Simultaneous work in France led to the development of the first austenitic stainless steels.
Steel, a term that actually describes an entire family of metal alloys, is a versatile and common type of metal with a wide variety of applications and uses. There are many grades but most types of steel fall into two broad categories, carbon steels and stainless steels. Though they have the same basic composition of iron and carbon, steel types tend to have a variety of alloying elements.
When duplex stainless steel is melted it solidifies from the liquid phase to a completely ferritic structure. The duplex structure gives this family of stainless steels a combination of attractive properties:. Strength: Duplex stainless steels are about twice as strong as regular austenitic or ferritic stainless steels.
Stainless steel is a material with tons to offer. Its popularity also means there are seemingly a million different types of stainless steel grades. Actually, there are a few hundred. As a general rule, stainless deserves consideration if your engineering project requires at least one of these three qualities:. Here's a stainless steel grades chart so you can get the most out of the metal for your project:.
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