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General Information

Alloy steels comprise a wide variety of steels which have compositions that exceed the
limitations of C, Mn, Ni, Mo, Cr, Va, Si, and B which have been set for carbon steels.
However, steels containing more than 3.99% chromium are classified differently as
stainless and tool steels.

Alloy steels are always killed, but can use unique deoxidization or melting processes for
specific applications. Alloy steels are generally more responsive to heat and mechanical
treatments than carbon steels.

AISI Designation

Typically, alloy steels are designated by distinct AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute)
four-digit numbers. The first two digits indicate the leading alloying elements, while the
last two digits give the nominal carbon content of the alloy in hundredths of a percent.
Occasionally we see five-digit designations where the last three digits tell that the carbon
is actually over 1%. Here is an example:
XXX :x.xx% average carbon content


13xx:1.75Mn Manganese
23xx:3.50Ni Nickel
31xx:1.25Ni, 0.65-0.80Cr Nickel-Chromium
41xx:0.50-0.95Cr, 0.12-0.30Mo Chromium-Molybdenum
46xx:0.85-1.82Ni, 0.20-0.25Mo
48xx:3.5Ni, 0.25Mo
50xxx:0.50Cr, 1.00C Chromium
51xxx:1.02Cr, 1.00C
52xxx:1.45Cr, 1.00C
61xx:0.60-0.95Cr, 0.10-0.15V Chromium-Vanadium
92xx:1.4-2Si, 0.65-0.85Mn, <0.65Cr Silicon-Manganese
43xx:1.82Ni, 0.50-0.80Cr, 0.25Mo Nickel-Chromium-Molybdenum
47xx:1.05Ni, 0.45Cr, 0.20-0.35Mo
81xx:0.30Ni, 0.40Cr, 0.12Mo
86xx:0.55Ni, 0.50Cr, 0.25Mo
87xx:0.55Ni, 0.50Cr, 0.25Mo
88xx:0.55Ni, 0.50Cr, 0.20-0.35Mo
93xx:3.25Ni, 1.20Cr, 0.12Mo
94xx:0.45Ni, 0.40Cr, 0.12Mo

If a B shows up between the second and third digits of an AISI number, it means that this
grade is a Boron steel; Sometimes a suffix H is attached to a AISI number to indicate that
the steel has been produced to prescribed hardenability limits.