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Alloy Steels, What Are They Good For?

Updated on March 26, 2013
Alloy Plates, Electromac Glands
Alloy Plates, Electromac Glands | Source

Alloy Steel Construction and Classification

Alloy steels are constructed of a mixture of metals, and are classified into various grades. These grades are decided by a percentage of the other metals, which are added to an evenly mixed combination of iron and carbon. There are two different groups of this product, high alloy steel and low alloy steel. These are broken down into different types, which are used for many purposes throughout the world.



The chemical composition is what determines whether the finished material will be carbon or conventional steel. By adding chromium, molybdenum, nickel, manganese, silicon or other materials, it is possible to add maximum hardness, corrosion resistance, temperature and material strength to the basic mix of iron and carbon. Each addition must be carefully measured if the desired result is to be attained.

One of these combinations is known as stainless steel, which is rust proof and resistant to staining. This particular grade of alloy steel is found everywhere and is particularly popular in:

• Cooking equipment
• Cutlery
• Counter tops (especially in hospitals and restaurants)
• Building Construction
• Restaurant panels
• Jewelry
• Surgical equipment


Strong Alloys, Tall Dreams

Type 304 of stainless steel was used in the construction of St. Paul's Gateway Arch, and type 316 was used in the construction of the two tallest buildings in the world. New York's Chrysler Building was also built of this material.

High strength, low alloy steel (HSLA) meets specific mechanical requirements. With its great strength, corrosion proof and non-magnetic qualities, it is used for things such as steel buildings, warships, military aircraft parts, tubing for gas or oil and so forth. Other grades of alloy steel have been developed to accommodate a weathering look on facing materials for buildings, bridges, artwork and so forth.

Alloys added to carbon and irons are designed for specific purposes. These alloys include varying amounts of tin, antimony, zinc, tin, copper, nickel, aluminium manganese, magnesium, iron, chromium, bronze, phosphorus, and lead.

With the proper combinations, the following are manufactured:

• Bearings
• Bells
• Inexpensive jewelry, piping, hose nozzles, piping, stamping dies
Coins, medals, electrical hardware, tools, heavy gears
• U.S. coins
• Aircraft, boats, railroad cars and machinery
• Corrosion-resistant containers
• Heating elements in toasters, electric heaters, etc.
• Electrical springs, boat propellers
• Jewelry and Art Objects
• Type for printing
• Silverware, pots and pans

Alloy steels are what keeps the machinery of civilization running smoothly. It is essential for providing necessary things that are necessary for people all over the world. There are many sites available on the Internet that can provide more information on this subject.


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