The idea of alloying elements into metals is by no means new and many of our ancestors, such as the Romans, Celtics and many other civilisations, would utilise elements to strengthen their shields, swords and construction tools. Steel products are relatively new to our world when we consider how long humanity spent in the stone, iron and bronze ages – but Damascus steel is proof that we at least understood how certain elements could bolster, fortify or apply various ‘effects’ to metals that the metal alone could never achieve by itself.
In our current age we have gained a far greater mastery over steel products manipulation, and now include alloyed elements for various purposes. These purposes range from increasing durability to reducing chance of oxidisation among others. This article will discuss a few of the elements in which we imbue steel and what attributes the steel products gain from these elements.
Steel products are created when carbon is alloyed into iron, which makes a far stronger version of iron that we call steel. By increasing or decreasing the amount of carbon in the alloy we can create steel products of various strengths and hardness for different uses.
Although chromium is commonly known for aesthetic purposes in South Africa, alloying steel with chromium provides effective oxidisation resistance. This resistance is increased as the amount of chromium in the alloy is increased up to a certain point. Stainless steel products are generally created with an 11% chromium level and are notably resistant to corrosion.
The inclusion of nickel in a steel alloy further increases the resistance to corrosion after chromium has been added. When steel is imbued with chromium and nickel it becomes an austenitic stainless steel. This steel is remarkably tough and strong at high and low temperatures and gains a unique toughness at very low temperatures.
So now that you understand more about steel products and how various alloying elements affect the steel, we trust that you are a little more informed when making purchases. To place orders or for pricing you can contact us directly, or pay our website a visit at www.GenesisSteel.co.za for more info and useful resources.