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Steel

Steel is one of the most commonly used building and manufacturing materials on the planet and Anco precision machining has the skills you need. It is an alloy that is made up of mostly iron and can have a makeup of up to 2 percent carbon (depending on weight and grade).

When iron is smelted from ore commercially, it contains more carbon than is desirable. For it to become steel, it must be re-melted and reprocessed to reduce carbon levels to the correct amount, then other elements can be added for hardening. Carbon and numerous other elements and materials are used as hardening agents in. It bonds with the steel and helps prevent dislocations of crystal lattice form slipping by each other, thus causing weak spots in the steel. The hardness and tensile strength of steel depends on its carbon content

Other materials can also be added to aid with increase of strength. Nickel and manganese add tensile strength and makes it more chemically stable. Chromium is added to increase hardness and the melting temperature and Vanadium also helps with hardening and resistance to fatigue. The addition of carbon can make steel harder and stronger but its ability to be molded and formed without cracks suffers but have no fear Anco precision machining can handle it. If steel has a higher concentration of carbon than 2 percent is considered to be cast iron which has a lower melting point. Steel is better than cast iron and wrought iron because of its resistance to rust and it is also better for welding.

The hard steel we know of today was developed during the Renaissance in the 1600 hundreds. The Bessemer process in the mid 1800 hundreds caused steel to become mass produced and relatively inexpensive for the first time. Today steel stands as one of the most common materials found in the world with nearly 1.5 billion tons made each year (not including steel recycling). Steel becomes stainless steel when its make up consists of at least 11 percent chromium. Sulfur, nitrogen and phosphorus (which are typically found in ores) make steel brittle so they must be removed during steel making. Heat treating steel can also make it stronger.

During annealing the steel is heated up sufficiently to make it softer. Quenching and tempering involve heating and cooling the steel after it reaches various temperatures. The rapid cooling and heating makes the steel brittle which is the made tough again by annealing. These processes help cleanse the steel of any weak spots and chemical leftover that could make it weak and less ductile.