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Q & A: Steel composition

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Most recent answer: 10/22/2007
Q:
Do you know how much iron(%)is in steel products?
- Madison
Australia
A:

  Steels vary in their composition.  They only have to have iron and carbon in them to qualify as steels, and the fraction of carbon (less than 1.7% by weight) is small.  But some steels have larger quantities of other ingredients.  Most steels have no more than a few percent of additional ingredients alloyed in:  manganese, vanadium, molybdenum, chromium, nickel, tungsten an cobalt are common.

  Stainless steel is a notable exception.  According to Wikipedia, stainless steels have at least 10% of chromium in the mixture, usually with some nickel too.  Stainless steels also have rather different properties from those of other steels -- they do not corrode, are poor magnets, and also poor heat conductors.

Tom

(published on 10/22/2007)

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