Some facts about alloying and accompanying elements in steel

With the alloying elements, a basic distinction has to be drawn as to whether they are carbide, austenite or ferrite formers and for what purpose they are being alloyed to the steel. Each individual element imparts certain specific properties to the steel, according to percentage. The presence of several elements can accentuate the effect. There are however alloys where the individual elements do not exert their influence on a particular characteristic in the same direction, but may in fact counteract one another. The presence of alloying elements in steel only provides the prerequisite for the required properties. They will not actually be achieved until processing and heat treatment have been carried out. The principal influences exerted by the alloying and accompanying elements on steel are given below:

Explanation to steel names formed by chemical composition according to EN 10027-1

The preceding number indicates the average carbon content x 100, subsequently followed by the added alloy-elements in short designation. The figure immediately following, indicates the average content of alloy added as stated on the undermentioned factor.

Factor for Co, Cr, Mn, Ni, Si, W = x 4
Factor for Al, Cu, Mo, Ti, V, Nb, Ta, Be, Pb, Zr = x 10
Factor for N, P, S, Ce = x 100
Factor for B = x 1000

Provided that Al 0.1%, Cu 0.25%, Mn 1.0%, Si 0.5% and Ti 0.1% are not exceeded, the steel concerned is unalloyed. Low alloy steels contain as a rule not more than 5% of alloy elements, while high alloy steels contain them in a proportion higher than 5%.

With alloy contents 5% upwards the multiplication falls away and an X is put in front of the carbon content.

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