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Alloy steel
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Steels and other ironcarbon alloy phases


Alloy steel is steel
that is alloyed with
a variety of
elements in total
amounts between
1.0% and 50% by
weight to improve
its mechanical
properties. Alloy
steels are broken
down into two
groups: low-alloy
steels and highalloy steels. The
difference between
the two is somewhat
arbitrary: Smith and
Hashemi define the
difference at 4.0%,
while Degarmo, et
al., define it at 8.0%.
[1][2]

FerriteAusteniteCementiteGraphiteMartensite
Microstructures
SpheroiditePearliteBainiteLedeburiteTempered martensiteWidmanstatten structures
Classes
Crucible steelCarbon steelSpring steelAlloy steelMaraging steelStainless steelWeathering steelTool steel
Other iron-based materials
Cast ironGray ironWhite ironDuctile ironMalleable ironWrought iron

vte

Most commonly, the phrase "alloy steel" refers to low-alloy steels.

Strictly speaking, every steel is an alloy, but not all steels are called "alloy steels". The simplest steels are iron (Fe)
alloyed with carbon (C) (about 0.1% to 1%, depending on type). However, the term "alloy steel" is the standard term
referring to steels with other alloying elements added deliberately in addition to the carbon. Common alloyants include
manganese (the most common one), nickel, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, silicon, and boron. Less common
alloyants include aluminum, cobalt, copper, cerium, niobium, titanium, tungsten, tin, zinc, lead, and zirconium.
The following is a range of improved properties in alloy steels (as compared to carbon steels): strength, hardness,
toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, hardenability, and hot hardness. To achieve some of these improved
properties the metal may require heat treating.
Some of these find uses in exotic and highly-demanding applications, such as in the turbine blades of jet engines, in
spacecraft, and in nuclear reactors. Because of the ferromagnetic properties of iron, some steel alloys find important
applications where their responses to magnetism are very important, including in electric motors and in transformers.

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Alloy steel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Contents

1 Low-alloy steels
2 Material science
3 See also
4 References
4.1 Notes
4.2 Bibliography

Low-alloy steels[edit]
Main article: high-strength low-alloy steel
A few common low alloy steels are:

D6AC
300M
256A
Principal low-alloy steels

[3]

SAE designation
Composition
13xx Mn 1.75%
40xx Mo 0.20% or 0.25% or 0.25% Mo & 0.042% S
41xx Cr 0.50% or 0.80% or 0.95%, Mo 0.12% or 0.20% or 0.25% or 0.30%
43xx
44xx
46xx
47xx
48xx
50xx
50xxx
50Bxx
51xx
51xxx
51Bxx
52xxx
61xx
86xx
87xx
88xx
92xx
94Bxx

Ni 1.82%, Cr 0.50% to 0.80%, Mo 0.25%


Mo 0.40% or 0.52%
Ni 0.85% or 1.82%, Mo 0.20% or 0.25%
Ni 1.05%, Cr 0.45%, Mo 0.20% or 0.35%
Ni 3.50%, Mo 0.25%
Cr 0.27% or 0.40% or 0.50% or 0.65%
Cr 0.50%, C 1.00% min
Cr 0.28% or 0.50%, and added boron
Cr 0.80% or 0.87% or 0.92% or 1.00% or 1.05%
Cr 1.02%, C 1.00% min
Cr 0.80%, and added boron
Cr 1.45%, C 1.00% min
Cr 0.60% or 0.80% or 0.95%, V 0.10% or 0.15% min
Ni 0.55%, Cr 0.50%, Mo 0.20%
Ni 0.55%, Cr 0.50%, Mo 0.25%
Ni 0.55%, Cr 0.50%, Mo 0.35%
Si 1.40% or 2.00%, Mn 0.65% or 0.82% or 0.85%, Cr 0.00% or 0.65%
Ni 0.45%, Cr 0.40%, Mo 0.12%, and added boron

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Alloy steel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ES-1 Ni 5%, Cr 2%, Si 1.25%, W 1%, Mn 0.85%, Mo 0.55%, Cu 0.5%, Cr 0.40%, C 0.2%, V
0.1%

Material science[edit]
Alloying elements are added to achieve certain properties in the material. As a guideline, alloying elements are added in
lower percentages (less than 5%) to increase strength or hardenability, or in larger percentages (over 5%) to achieve
[2]

special properties, such as corrosion resistance or extreme temperature stability. Manganese, silicon, or aluminum are
added during the steelmaking process to remove dissolved oxygen, sulfur and phosphorus from the melt. Manganese,
silicon, nickel, and copper are added to increase strength by forming solid solutions in ferrite. Chromium, vanadium,
molybdenum, and tungsten increase strength by forming second-phase carbides. Nickel and copper improve corrosion
resistance in small quantities. Molybdenum helps to resist embrittlement. Zirconium, cerium, and calcium increase
toughness by controlling the shape of inclusions.Sulfur in form of Manganese sulfide, lead, bismuth, selenium, and
[4]

tellurium increase machinability. The alloying elements tend to form either solid solutions or compounds or carbides.
Nickel is very soluble in ferrite; therefore, it forms compounds, usually Ni3Al. Aluminium dissolves in the ferrite and
forms the compounds Al2O3 and AlN. Silicon is also very soluble and usually forms the compound SiO2MxOy.
Manganese mostly dissolves in ferrite forming the compounds MnS, MnOSiO2, but will also form carbides in the form
of (Fe,Mn)3C. Chromium forms partitions between the ferrite and carbide phases in steel, forming (Fe,Cr3)C, Cr7C3,
and Cr23C6. The type of carbide that chromium forms depends on the amount of carbon and other types of alloying
elements present. Tungsten and molybdenum form carbides if there is enough carbon and an absence of stronger
carbide forming elements (i.e., titanium & niobium), they form the carbides W2C and Mo2C, respectively. Vanadium,
titanium, and niobium are strong carbide forming elements, forming vanadium carbide, titanium carbide, and niobium
[5]

carbide, respectively. Alloying elements also have an effect on the eutectoid temperature of the steel. Manganese and
nickel lower the eutectoid temperature and are known as austenite stabilizing elements. With enough of these elements
the austenitic structure may be obtained at room temperature. Carbide-forming elements raise the eutectoid
[6]

temperature; these elements are known as ferrite stabilizing elements.

[7]

Principal effects of major alloying elements for steel


Element
Aluminium

Percentage
0.951.30

Primary function
Alloying element in nitriding steels

Bismuth

Improves machinability

Boron

0.0010.003

A powerful hardenability agent

Chromium

0.52
418

Increases hardenability
Increases corrosion resistance

Copper

0.10.4

Corrosion resistance

Lead

Improved machinability

0.250.40
Manganese
>1

Molybdenum

0.25

Combines with sulfur and with phosphorus to reduce the brittleness. Also
helps to remove excess oxygen from molten steel.
Increases hardenability by lowering transformation points and causing
transformations to be sluggish
Stable carbides; inhibits grain growth. Increases the toughness of steel, thus
making molybdenum a very valuable alloy metal for making the cutting parts
of machine tools and also the turbine blades of turbojet engines. Also used in
rocket motors.

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Alloy steel - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

25
1220
0.20.7
2.0
Higher percentages

Toughener
Increases corrosion resistance
Increases strength
Spring steels
Improves magnetic properties

Sulfur

0.080.15

Free-machining properties

Titanium

Fixes carbon in inert particles; reduces martensitic hardness in chromium


steels

Tungsten

Also increases the melting point.

Vanadium

0.15

Stable carbides; increases strength while retaining ductility; promotes fine


grain structure. Increases the toughness at high temperatures

Nickel

Silicon

See also[edit]

HSLA steel
Microalloyed steel
SAE steel grades
Reynolds 531

References[edit]
Resources The Iron and Steel Dictionary - Alloy Steel

Notes[edit]
1. ^ Smith, p. 393.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.

ab

^
Degarmo, p. 112.
^ Smith, p. 394.
^ Degarmo, p. 113.
^ Smith, pp. 394-395.
^ Smith, pp. 395-396
^ Degarmo, p. 144.

Bibliography[edit]

Degarmo, E. Paul; Black, J T.; Kohser, Ronald A. (2007), Materials and Processes in Manufacturing (10th ed.),
Wiley, ISBN 978-0-470-05512-0.
Groover, M. P., 2007, p. 105-106, Fundamentals of Modern Manufacturing: Materials, Processes and Systems,
3rd ed, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ, ISBN 978-0-471-74485-6.
Smith, William F.; Hashemi, Javad (2001), Foundations of Material Science and Engineering (4th ed.), McGrawHill, p. 394, ISBN 0-07-295358-6

Authority control NDL: 00573217

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