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Plain carbon steels

Name Plain carbon steels Low carbon steels Medium carbon High carbon steels
Composition Carbon is the alloying ele that Largest tonnage of all steels 0.25% < C < 0.6% C > 0.6%
Definition controls the prop produced Austenized,
Alt. names C - 1.5% C < 0.25% quenched and
Cu - 0.6% Also called Mild steels tempered to
Mn – 1.65% improve mech prop
Si – 0.6%
Characteristics 1. Moderately priced 1. Relatively soft and 1. Low 1. Hardest and
2. Ductile, readily formed weak hardenability strongest
3. Can be made into 2. Can’t be hardened 2. High 2. Least ductile
sheets, bars, rods, appreciably by heat strength 3. More wear
wires etc. treatment methods 3. Low ductility resistance
3. Good formability and and 4. Capable of
weldability toughness holding
4. Strengthened by cold sharp edges
5. High ductility and
6. Least expensive
7. Contains ferrite and
Applications  Automobiles  Automobile body  Railway  Cutting
 Ball bearings, base components wheels and tools and
plates etc.  Structural shapes tracks dies
 Pipelines  Gears, crank  Knives,
 Buildings and bridges shafts etc. razors
 Springs
 High
Alloy steels
Name Low alloy steels High alloy steels
Composition 3% to 4% of one or more alloying elements Contains more than 5%of one or more alloying
Also called Pearlitic alloy steels elements

Characteristics 1. Similar microstructure as that of PCS and 1. They have diff microstructure and
requires similar heat treatment processes require diff heat treatments than that
2. Eutectoid pearlite structure of PCS
3. Alloying elements provide enhanced properties 2. Austentic, martensitic or precipitated
4. They increase strength without loss in toughness carbides structures are possible
and increased hardenability

Types AISI HSLA Tool and die Stainless steels

1. American iron and steel 1. High 1. High quality 1. Used for
institute steels strength alloys used improving
2. Construction or structural low alloy for tools and corrosion
steels steels dies resistance
3. They have less than 5% of 2. Micro 2. Hardenability
total addition of elements alloyed 3. Wear
4. Cr, Ni, Cu, Mn, Mo, V etc steels resistance
5. Has very good hardenability 3. Al, Nb 4. Resistance to
and V softening on
Stainless steels
Name Austenitic SS Ferritic SS Martensitic SS
Composition C - 0.03% to 0.15% C – 0.08% to 0.10% C – 0.1% to 1.5%
Mn – 2% to 10% Mn – 1% to 1.5% Mn – 1%
Si - 1% to 2% Si – 1% Si – 1%
Cr – 16% to 26% Cr – 12% to 25% Cr – 12% to 25%
Ni - 3.5% to 22%

Properties 1. Highest corrosion resistance 1. Magnetic 1. Good hardness, ductility,

2. Good strength and scale 2. Good ductility and thermal conductivity
resistance at high temperatures 3. Great strength, 2. Good toughness and
3. Non magnetic toughness and good corrosion resistance
4. Good ductility at 0°C resistance to corrosion
5. Very tough and can be welded, 4. Can be welded, forged,
forged or rolled rolled and machined

Short notes  Austenite structure at room  Ferritic structure all  They contain 12 to 25 %
temperatures temp till its melting of Cr and 0.1 to 1.5% of C
 Produced in greatest tonnage point  The presence of carbon
 Contains both Cr and Ni, the  Cannot be heat treated restores the α to gamma
tendency of Ni to reduce the  Can be strengthened transition
critical temp overrides the by work hardening  They can be heated to
opposite effect of Cr thus a austenitic temperatures
completely austenitic structure and will form martensite
is possible upon cooling
 C < 0.15% to minimize
formation of Cr carbides, as it
would decrease the corrosion
 Carbide form when the metal
cools slowly form high temp
around 500 to 700°C
 The above temp is attained
during weld processes and
results in formation of carbides
and may lead to failure
 This type of corrosion failure is
called weld decay. Titanium or
niobium is added to prevent this
 Nitride particles improve
strength, hardness and wear
Applications  Aircraft industry (engine parts)  Lining for petroleum  Pumps and valve parts
 Heat exchanger industries  Rules and tapes
 Cooking utensils  Heating elements for  Turbine buckets
 Trailers and railway cars furnaces  Surgical instruments
 Screws
 Oil burner parts
 Interior decoration

Other important alloy steels

Name Tool steels HSLA steels Maraging steels
Composition C – 0.10% to 1.60% C – 0.10 to 0.25% C < 0.05%
Mn – 0.10% t0 0.60% Mn – 0.50 to 1.25% Ni – 18%
Si – 0.10% to 1.20% Si – 0.10 to 0.30% Co – 7%
Cr – 0.15% to 13% Cr – 0.01% And small amounts of other elements
Ni – 0.10% to 0.50% V – 0.01 to 0.02% such as titanium
P – 0.04%
S – 0.05%
Cu – 0.20%
Properties 1. Good toughness 1. High yield strength 1. Very high tensile and impact
2. Good wear resistance 2. Can be welded without strength
3. Very good machinability becoming brittle 2. Considerable toughness and
4. Slight change of form 3. They are very light high strength is much
during hardening 4. High corrosion resistance superior to constructional
5. Little risk of cracking 5. Ductile formable and steels
during hardening machinable 3. Suitable for surface
6. Resistance to softening hardening and nitriding
and heating 4. Can be welded, if welding is
7. Resistance to followed by full solution and
decarburization ageing treatment
8. A definite hardening
9. A definite cooling rate
during hardening
Short notes  Used to make tools and  High strength low alloy  Low carbon and high alloyed
dies for cutting and steels or micro alloyed steels
forming steels  Very high strength materials
 Designed to provide  Reduces weight and  Tensile strength upto
wear resistance and increases strength 1900MPa can be obtained
toughness combined  Structural or  The composition of these
with strength constructional alloy steels steels forms martensite upon
 Basically high carbon  They have twice the yield cooling
alloys who’s chemistry strength against PCS
provides wear resistance
and toughness as  0.20% Cu is added to  Unlike martensite in other
required improve corrosion steels this martensite is
resistance ductile and tough.
 Martensite formation in  The can be cold worked and
weld zones is resisted by hardened by precipitation
adding ele like Mn, Si, V below austenizing temp to
etc. obtain high tensile strengths
Applications  Taps and drills  Structural materials  Flexible drive shafts for
 Dies  Bridges, towers helicopters
 Hand chisels and cold  Pressure vessels  Barrels for rapid firing guns
cutters  Automobiles and trains.  Space vehicle cases
 Milling cutters etc  Extrusion rams

Cast irons
Name Grey CI White CI Malleable CI Spheroidal
Composition C – 2.5 to 4% C – 1.8 to 3% C – 2 to 3% C – 3.3 to 4%
Mn – 0.4 to 1% Mn – 0.25 to 0.8% Mn – 0.2 to 0.6% Mn – 0.2 to 0.5%
S – 0.02 to 0.15% S – 0.10 to 0.30% S – 0.10% S – 0.01% (max)
Si – 1 to 3% Si – 0.5 to 1.9% Si – 0.6 to 1.3% Si – 1.8 to 3%
P – 0.15 to 1% P – 0.05 to 0.2% P – 0.15% P – 0.08% (max)

Microstructure  Graphite flakes,  Gets its name  Heat treated to  Produced by

look like a bunch because the obtain adding Mg and/or
of potato chips fracture have a sufficient cerium to molten
glued together white or a malleability cast iron
 They are silvery and ductility  Mg converts
normally appearance  It is produced graphite to flake
surrounded by α  It has all its my heat or nodular form
ferrite or carbon in the treating un  Resulting
pearlite matrix form of alloyed white structure is
 Fractured cementite in a iron spheroidal or
surface appears pearlite matrix  During heat nodular CI
grey due to  Since cementite treatment,  Presence of
graphite flakes is formed by cementite spheroidal
and hence the quick cooling breaks down graphite improves
name white CI is very into ferrite and ductility, strength,
 Graphite flakes hard and brittle graphite fracture
do not have  Used where nodules. toughness and
appreciable hardness and  These nodules other mech prop
strength wear resistance are also called  Addition of Mg
 They act as is important tempered gives good results
crack initiating carbon and and hence it is
sites which widely used
makes grey iron  Most white CI appears like
brittle are hypo pop corn
 Shape size and eutectic  Ferritic
distribution of malleable CI :
the graphite it’s heated
flakes have a beyond upper
significant effect critical
on the overall temperature
properties and held there
for a prolonged
time so that all
the cementite
turns into
graphite and
on cooling
through the
reaction ferritic
matrix if
 Pearlitic
malleable CI :
the white cast
iron is cooled
more rapidly
from the upper
such that the
carbon will not
be able to turn
into graphite
and will result
in a pearlitic
Characteristics 1. Excellent 1. Very hard and 1. Good ductility 1. Excellent ductility,
compressive brittle and tensile and yield
strength, comp 2. High abrasion malleability strengths
strength is five resistance 2. High yield and 2. Good toughness
times its tensile 3. High tensile and tensile strength 3. Good fatigue
strength low compressive 3. Not brittle strength
2. Good torsional strength 4. High young’s 4. Good impact
and shear 4. It can’t be modulus and strength
strengths machined due to low co eff of 5. Good hardness
3. Good corrosion its hardness thermal and high modulus
resistance 5. Can be casted in expansion of elasticity
4. Excellent sand moulds 5. Excellent 6. Corrosion
fluidity. Hence, impact and resistant
can be cast into fatigue 7. Excellent
complex shapes strength castability and
5. Good wear 6. Good wear wear resistance
resistance resistance and 8. Resists oxidation
6. Excellent vibration at high
machinability damping temperatures
(better than 7. Excellent 9. Good
steel) machinability machinability
7. Outstanding
vibration and
sound damping
Application  Machine tool  Raw material for  Brake shoes,  Valves, pump
bodies the production pedals bodies
 Engine blocks of malleable cast  Wheel hubs,  Crank shafts,
 Engine cylinders iron axle housing gears, pinions
 Brake drums  Wear plates,  Transmission  Rollers, rocker
 Cam shafts pump linings gears and door arms
 Ingot moulds  Used for interior hinges  Power
castings transmission