Saturday, 13 February 2016


Steel can be classified into (1) Plain carbon steel, and (2) Alloy steel.
          Plain carbon steel is that steel in which the only alloying element present is carbon. In alloy steel, apart from carbon, other alloying elements like chromium, nickel, tungsten, molybdenum, and vanadium are also present and they make an appreciable difference in the properties of steel.
        Before we go further, readers must note that in steel, besides iron and carbon, four other elements are always present. These are S, P, Mn ans Si. Removing these elements from steel is not a practical proposition. However, the effect of sulphur and phosphorous on the properties of steel is detrimental and their percentage is generally not allowed to exceed 0.05%. Similarly, the usual percentage of manganese ans silicon in steel is kept below 0.8 and 0.3%, although their effect is not determinantal to the properties of steel. In fact, manganese counters the bad effect of sulphur. The presence of these four elements to the extent indicated does not put plain carbon steel into the category of alloy steel. However, if higher percentages of Mn and Si are intentionally added to steel in order to alter its properties, then the resulting steels come within the category of alloy steels.

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