Characteristics of Alloys | The Simplified Numbering System for Nickel Alloys

The Effects of Elements on Steel

The effects of elements alloyed in carbon, alloy and stainless steels can be either beneficial or detrimental depending on both the quantity of the element or its companion elements.

Aluminum (Al)
Promotes fine grains in low-carbon steels while retarding the susceptibility of age hardening. Contributes to the precipitation hardening qualities of some stainless steels.

Carbon (C)
The principal alloying element for the strengthening and hardening of carbon and alloy steels, usually with a sacrifice in ductility.

Chromium (Ch)
Increases hardenability and wear resistance of alloy steels. Improves resistance to chemical corrosion and scaling in air at elevated temperatures.

Cobalt (C)
Increases strength and hardness and permits higher quenching temperatures. It also intensifies the individual effects of other major elements in a more complex steel.

Columbium (Cb) + Tantalum (Ta)
Used in combination. Stabilizers for stainless steels.

Manganese (Mn)
A sulfide-former that decreases the tendency to crack during the hot-working operations. Hardens carbon and alloy steels anad promotes weldability.

Molybdenum (Mo)
Increases strength, hardness, hardenability, and toughness as well as creep resistance and strength at elevated temperatures. It improves machinability and resistance to corrosion and intensifies the effect of other alloying elements.

Nickel (N)
Increases strength and hardness without sacrificing ductility and toughness. Also increases resistance to corrosion and scaling at elevated temperatures.

Phosphorus (P)
Increases strength and hardness and improves machinability. However, it adds marked brittleness or cold-shortness to steel.

Selenium (Se)
mproves machinability.

Silicon (Si)
A deoxidizer used for "killing" steels resulting in finer grains and improved ductility. Improves scaling resistance of stainless steels. Imparts special magnetic properties to iron base alloys. Silicon also strengthens low alloy steels.

Sulfur (Su)
Forms localized embrittled striations that improve machinability while decreasing ductility and impact strength, particularly in the transverse direction. Decreases weldability.

Titanium (Ti)
A carbide-former, it stabilizes stainless steels to promote weldability without sacrificing corrosion resistance. Refines grains in carbon and alloy steels.

Tungsten (W)
Increases strength, hardness, and toughness. Tungsten steels have superior hot-working and greater cutting efficiency at elevated temperatures.

Vanadium (V)
Forms fine grains and contributes to the deep-hardening properties of alloy steels.

Characteristics of Alloys | The Simplified Numbering System for Nickel Alloys

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