Stephen Hamilton
by On October 15, 2019
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One of the most commonly used metals in various industrial and manufacturing sectors is steel, and for good reason.  Properties such as strength, durability and corrosion resistance make it a perfect choice to be used in combination with other metals. In fact, steel is combined with other metals like aluminium and carbon steel as well as other materials such as manganese, chromium, titanium, silicon and others to create special alloy steel. They have become popular options in many industrial sectors especially in the last decade. (Information source: https://www.eurosteel.co.za/special-alloy/)

Types of Alloy Steel:

 

1. High Alloy: High alloy steel is achieved by combining high portions of alloying elements, with a popular example being stainless steel. Stainless steel is the most widely used alloy steel, containing a minimum of 12% chromium. They can be further divided into the three following groups:

  • Ferritic: Ferritic steel is used in the manufacture of industrial equipment as well as the automobile industry. Chromium percentage varies from 12% to 27%.
  • Austenitic: Austenitic alloys contains a high level of carbon, manganese, nitrogen or nickel. It is hence ideal for chemical, pharmacy and mining equipment and environments with exposure to corrosive liquids.
  • Martensitic: This type of alloy contains the lowest amount of chromium percentage among the three. Because of its durability, it is used extensively for cutlery manufacturing.

 

2. Low Alloy Steel: Low alloy steel does not contain as many elements as high alloy steels, generally ranging from 1 % to 5 %. They are ideal for use in the construction of large diameter flanges, studding outlets and seamless rolled ring forging.

 

Applications of Special Alloy Steel:

  • Artwork: Since stainless steel and other high alloy variants have naturally shiny surfaces, they are ideal for being used in artwork pieces. Stainless steel is also used in various capacities during sculpturing abstract pieces and statues. However, they cannot provide much resistance from extreme weather conditions and corrosion.
  • Household items: Stainless steel is extensively used in the production of household items such as kitchen appliances and cutlery because of its hygienic qualities. Appliances, countertops, various wardrobe fixtures, stools, tables etc. are generally made from high alloyed stainless steel.
  • In construction: Stainless Steel has been used in the construction industry since the 1920s. Because of its strong and durable qualities, it tends to last longer, making it the first choice for buildings, construction projects and various uses in architecture.
  • Manufacturing Units: Manufacturing units require some of their components to be constructed from steel alloys. Examples include corrosion resistant containers, silverware, electric hardware, medals, coins, propellers for boats, railroad cars and components, even some aircraft parts.

 

Conclusion:

Stainless Steel and other special alloy steels have been used extensively for decades, and its demand is only increasing in the modern era, due to its environmentally friendly nature.

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