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Steel, iron, metal are they the same?

By April 4, 2024 May 8th, 2024 One Comment

Have you ever pondered the contrasts between iron, metal, and steel? While some might assume they are all similar, the truth is, they are all different.

When we envision the Iron Man suit, it’s easy to assume it’s made entirely of iron. While that’s partially true, the suit is comprised of various metals, one of which is iron (Fe). It is one of the most abundant elements on Earth and is found in various forms, including ores such as hematite and magnetite. Iron is a metal with a silvery-grey appearance and is known for its strength, ductility, and magnetic properties. Iron is essential to produce steel, which is an alloy of iron and carbon.

Additional metals are often added to steel for various reasons, depending on the desired properties and applications of the final products. A few of the most common reasons for alloying steel with different metals include:

Improved strength and toughness – Alloying elements such as manganese, chromium, nickel, molybdenum, and vanadium can increase the strength, hardness, and toughness of steel.

Enhancing corrosion resistance – Adding chromium and nickel improves resistance to corrosion and oxidation, forming a protective passive oxide layer on the surface.

Increase wear resistance – Alloying elements like tungsten, cobalt, and titanium can enhance the wear resistance of steel, making it suitable for applications subjected to abrasive wear, friction, and erosion.

Modifying hardenability – Alloying elements such as nickel, chromium, and molybdenum can modify the hardenability of steel, influencing its ability to be hardened by heat treatment processes such as quenching and tempering.

Improving machinability – Certain alloying elements, such as sulphur, lead, and bismuth, are added to steel to improve its machinability, facilitating easier cutting, drilling, and machining operations.

Steel is indispensable in today’s modern world and has been used by humans for thousands of years for various purposes, including construction, tools, machinery, and transportation.

At Special Steel & Alliance, we specialize in supplying high-quality steel across various industries and applications.

It just goes to show how even our perceptions of materials can be surprising. So, the next time Iron Man comes to mind, perhaps “Steel Man” might be a more accurate nickname!”

Special Steel

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