Alloying Element Details

Science uses alloying elements to alter the mechanical and chemical properties that steel has, to give it advantages over the standard carbon steel. In science, you use alloying elements to alloy steel other than carbon.

The total mass of alloying elements can sum up to 50% to improve properties such as better wear protection and flexibility. You use the alloying elements to change the properties of metals because you cannot use metals in their pure form.

Examples of Alloying Elements

Alloying elements are materials such as pewter, brass, phosphor bronze, amalgam, and steel. With the complete solid solution, alloy gives a single solid phase microstructure. At the same time, the partial solutions provide two or more phases that may or may not be homogenous in distribution. The properties of an alloy are different most times from its component elements.

For instance, many home appliances such as blenders, microwaves, and even utensils use stainless steel. Steel and chromium make up stainless steel, an alloyed metal that offers durability and a neater appearance. Alloying elements give better wear protection and flexibility.

Alloying elements are also significant in the making of coins. They also aid the making of cheap ornaments. Alloying elements change the properties of metal to make gun barrels, gears, and bearings. An alloying element used with delta metal resulted in the making of airplane blades. With rose metal, alloying elements resulted in the making of an automatic fuse. Alloying elements also help in the casting of bells and statues. Alloying elements also aid in the making of electrical and automobile parts.

Types of Alloying Elements

There are five common types of alloying elements which is more known than the others.

  1. Chromium is added to carbon steel greater than 11% to create stainless steel. It is a popular alloying metal for steel because of the high hardness and corrosion resistance. It is a grey, hard and brittle metal with high-temperature resistance and a melting point. It helps with mechanical properties and increases the steel’s strength, hardness, and ability to be heat treated.
  2. Molybdenum affects the corrosion resistance of steel, just like chromium. It also increases the hardenability, toughness, and tensile strength of steel. The hardenability becomes increased by lowering the required quench rate during the heat-treating process for strong and hard steel.
  3. Vanadium helps in controlling the grain size of the steel and keeping it small. Due to the blockage of the formation of grains, vanadium carbides form in vanadium to the steel. The blockage does not allow the growing large. The formation of carbides by vanadium can increase the hardness and strength of the steel.
  4. Manganese is used in steel for the heat-treating process. When steel is heated, it increases its hardness and strength. Manganese reduces the risk of any defects that may occur during the heating and quenching process of steel. Stainless steel has a high amount of manganese.
  5. Nickel uses this in the manufacturing of austenitic stainless steel. You create austenitic steel when chromium of about 18% or more and nickel composition is greater than 8%. This combination of the two elements is corrosion resistant. Experts use it to increase strength, hardness, and impact toughness.

Austenite vs. Alloying Element

Austenite is necessary for the manufacturing of carburized steels. Its solubility is high for the introduction of carbon into the steel. The parent austenite phase influences the microstructure of carburized steels. For alloying elements, it is a mixture of metallic intimately mixed solid of two or more elements.

One of the elements is usually a metal. It alters both the mechanical and chemical properties of steel to have advantages over carbon steel. It has an effect on the susceptibility of a metal or alloy to localized corrosion. It gives better wear for the steel.