Steel is a highly durable element. It is the backbone of many industries because of its solidity and high tensile strength. Steel is used to fabricate and build almost everything from tiny sewing needles to powerful oil tankers and tall skyscrapers.
Steel also comes in different variations, each catering to various industrial demands. The type of steel used in a specific manufacturing unit depends on its uses. The material can be obtained through steel suppliers and manufacturers. Combined with other metals, manufacturers often get a different structure and composition.
Here are seven different characteristics of steel:
Steel Characteristic #1: Hardness
Steel is a standard favourite in many industries because of its ability to withstand abrasion and friction. It has very high strength and toughness in metal properties, making it excellent to create frames and structures.
Carbon steel makes up the majority of steel used in the world. It’s a combination of iron, carbon and other alloys used in ninety percent steel production. This steel is more robust and rigid.
Steel Characteristic #2: Toughness
Steel also has a high ability to absorb energy without rupturing or fracturing. When defining the toughness of steel, it’s usually regarding steel’s resistance to fracture when it is stressed. Toughness is generally measured in Joules per square centimetre. It is essential to distinguish this from the hardness. Toughness is all about a material’s ability to be shaped and deformed without breaking.
High carbon steel has extreme toughness. Its 0.61% carbon content makes it robust, brittle, and hard. High carbon steel is the preferred choice in manufacturing shock-absorbing machinery.
Steel Characteristic #3: Yield
Yield focuses on the measurement of the force that is needed to deform a material. The deformation of a metal such as steel is extremely high- it can be warped and bent without breaking or fragmenting.
Steel such as tungsten is usually used in deformation because it has a high melting point compared to other types of metal in their purest form. While it is easily formed and shaped, tungsten has the strength and ability to withstand very high temperatures.
Steel Characteristic #4: Tensile
Steel also has high tensile strength. Tensile strength is the amount of force needed to break the material. Tensile strength in steel is often improved through a process known as cold rolling. It involves rolling steel in high-pressure conditions between two polished rollers. High tensile steel is usually used in pipes, boxes, metal sheets, rivets, vehicle frames and wires.
Steel Characteristic #5: Elongation
Also known as ductility, it is the degree to which a material can be compressed and stretched before it breaks. Some types of steel have 0.31% carbon content, making it mildly ductile steel with a higher tensile strength than low carbon steel.
Steel Characteristic #6: Corrosion-resistant
Certain types of steel, such as vanadium, have high corrosion-resistant properties. It also has high shock absorption abilities. Vanadium is commonly used in the aerospace industry as it can quickly bond titanium to steel, plus it is also good in vibration and shock resistance.
Steel Characteristic #7: Versatility
Because of its properties, there are plenty of uses for steel in various industries. The more common ones are used in all industries, whereas some specific combinations are used in specialized industries such as aerospace.
Alloy steel is among the most used in different industries around the world. Alloy steel is a mixture of varying percentages of metals such as copper, titanium, chromium, nickel, silicon and manganese. It is used for specific applications such as the production of hollow structural steel.
Alloy steel is responsive to different industrial treatments and is specially used in auto parts manufacturing, electric motors, power generations, pipelines and transformers.
Nickel steel also comes in as the most used around the world. Adding nickel to structural steel strengthens it without causing ductility. It is also very responsive to heat treatments since nickel lowers the steel temperature.
Another standard steel used in industries all around the world is manganese steel. It consists of 11 percent manganese, making it very hard-working steel. It has excellent hardening characteristics and is highly wear-resistant, making it helpful steel to make railway tracks. Besides tracks, manganese steel is also used to make shot blast cabinets and anti-drill security plates.
Another steel that has high wear-resistance is chromium. Chromium steel also has a unique ability: its cooling rate and scaling resistance. It also has high resistance to extreme temperature. Because of these characteristics, chromium is used in applications that require corrosion protection.