Steels and Cast irons and their Essential and Incidental Elements...

Steels and Cast irons and their Essential and Incidental Elements Steels and cast irons are basically alloys of iron and different other elements in the periodic table. The vast majority of steels and all cast irons contain carbon as a principal alloying element. As a general definition, steel is an alloy of iron, carbon (less than 2 % C), and other alloying elements which is capable of being hot and/or cold deformed into various shapes. On the other hand, cast iron is an alloy of iron, carbon (higher than 2 % C), and other alloying elements and is not generally capable of being hot and/or cold deformed. A cast iron is used in its cast form. Steels and cast irons are the most widely used and least expensive metallic materials. There are several thousands of different steel compositions presently available. A vast variety of terminology is used to differentiate different types of steels. In fact, the way the steels are classified sometimes is quite confusing even to the regular user of steels. However, in many cases, the steels fall into a limited number of well-defined classes. Generally, the carbon and low alloy steels come under a classification system based on composition. The high alloy steels (the stainless, heat resistant, and wear resistant steels, etc.) are being classified according to many different systems, including composition, microstructure, application, or specification. The easiest way to classify steels is by their chemical composition. Different alloying elements are normally added to iron for the purpose of attaining certain specific properties and characteristics. These elements include, but are not limited to, carbon, manganese, silicon, nickel, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, niobium, copper, aluminum, titanium, tungsten, and cobalt. The general category of carbon and low alloy steels encompasses plain carbon steels, alloy steels,...