A decisive influence on the properties of non-alloy steel has a carbon content. Materials made of non-alloy steel contain also certain amounts of other elements originating from the ore and metallurgical processes. Elements such as oxygen, nitrogen, sulfur and non-metallic inclusions, mainly oxides of sulfur and phosphorus are called impurities.
Other steels contain in addition to carbon such alloying elements as eg. nickel, chromium, manganese, molybdenum, vanadium, cobalt, silicon. They are added to achieve certain specific properties, eg.:
– increase the strength,
– resistance to corrosion,
– heat resistance,
– susceptibility to heat treatment.
- Chromium in a large amount (12%-30%) significantly increases the resistance of steel to oxidizing agents, that is why it is a component of heat-resistant, acid-resistant and stainless steels.
- Silicon reduces energy loss, therefore it is used in amounts up to 4% for production of generator and transformer sheets.
- Molybdenum increases the depth of hardening.