What is steel made of

    Hi there, welcome to “thecivilengineer18.com”. Steel is among the most important materials that led to the various industrial wonders we see today because of steel. Take your mobile you have steel, Your bike has steel parts, if you are using public transport such as buses or trains it also has steel. So literally we can't live without steel in today's world that much, how steel has become. That same goes to the building. Whether it is a concrete structure or a Steel structure, in construction steel gets involved in it.
   So What is Steel made of? Who invented this Steel? What is the history of Steel? What to know, Let's do it.

    Generally speaking, steel is an alloy of Iron + Carbon(less than 2%) + Manganese(1%) + a Small amount of Silicon, Phosphorous, Sulphur, and Oxygen. The General Chemical formula for steel is given by Fe in Markets since it is an alloy of Iron. 

Who Invented the Modern Steel?

   Sir Henry Bessemer invented the Bessemer process which made the production of steel much easier.

File:Sir Henry Bessemer. Mezzotint by T. O. Barlow after R. Lehma Wellcome V0006451.jpg

History of Steel?

  We could separate the history of steel into two history before the Bessemer process and history after the Bessemer process.

History before the Bessemer process

   Before the Bessemer Process steel was produced by using a higher amount of carbon content in the pig iron by the Cementation process. In the Cementation process, the bars of wrought iron get placed in sandboxes that contain powdered charcoal when heated charcoal becomes a layer over the iron to protect it. But Cementation methods have disadvantages like long duration for the process and a very high amount of heat required which leads to high energy consumption.

History after the Bessemer Process

  In the Bessemer process steel is heated at a very high temperature in a blast furnace while hot air is blown into the blast furnace. Along with the hot air, the impurities like carbon, sulfur, Phosphorous, and silicon were removed. The Bessemer process takes less energy and time to remove the impurities in the making of steel. So this process becomes very popular since it increases the profit of the steel makers.

What is Steel Made of

 Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Iron is the base material. Based on the other materials that were added steel was classified as

  1. Carbon steel
  2. Aolly Steel
  3. Stainless steel
  4. Tools steel

Carbon steel 

     Carbon steel is a kind of steel in which iron is mixed with 0.05% to 2.1% of carbon.

     Uses: Carbon steels were mainly used for making pipes that were used in refineries. However, these pipes were not used in coastal or marine structures because of their low corrosion resistance.

Alloy Steel

     Alloy steel is a type of steel that is alloyed with several elements such as molybdenum, chromium, cobalt, vanadium, silicon, and boron with varying percentages from 1% to 50%. These alloying elements were added to increase the strength, Hardness, wear resistance, and toughness.

    Uses: Alloy Steels were especially used in the manufacturing of energy-related applications such as the heating element in toasters, silverware, pots, pans, and corrosion-resistant containers. They are also used in the manufacturing of wires.

Stainless Steel

     Stainless steel is the most widely used steel for Various applications what makes this steel different from other steel is that 10.5% chromium is added and less than 1.2% of carbon and other elements were added to produce this type of steel. The addition of chromium increases the hardenability of steel at the same time increases the corrosion resistance of steel.

    Uses: Stainless steel is used in various applications such as Automotive and Transportation - For making automotive parts Medicinal Technology  - For making Surgical and Testing equipment such as MRI Scanners etc.,
Construction - Interior Countertop, Handrails etc.,

Tools Steel

    Tools steel is made of 0.5% to 1.5% of Carbon. In different combinations, it also has other carbide-forming elements such as chromium, Vanadium, molybdenum, and tungsten.

    Uses: Tools steel was used for the production of tools such as cutting machines and blades, dies that were used in machinery for mass production of products, drilling bits, etc.,

    Hence, various types of steel are available and they are made of different combinations for different purposes. So we need to select the appropriate steel for our specific purpose.


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