Steel chemistry - Essay Example

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Steel Introduction Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Steel cannot be mined directly from the earth’s surface. Iron is the main source of steel. Iron is found in different concentrations at\round the world. It constitutes about 5 percent of the earths crust…
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Steel chemistry essay
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Download file to see previous pages Carbon is found in large quantities from wood and coal (Hall, 1997). According to Hall (1997), Iron is mixed with carbon to form either steel or cast iron. Iron ore, immediately extracted from the ground is rich in iron content or is concentrated. The concentration is then reduced in a blast furnace by the use of coke and limestone flux. The resulting product from the furnace is called pig iron. Pig iron is strong enough to be molded into various c shapes. Cast iron and its different types are produced at the foundry industries. The different types of cast iron produced at foundry industries include ductile iron, gray iron, and malleable iron. However, a larger percentage of cast iron is further refined to produce steel. Generally, steel can be said to be an alloy whereby iron predominates and carbon is used. Carbon is normally below 2 percent in content in the alloy. Good qualities of steel ere ensured by modifying the concentration of carbon in the alloy. Further, other elements such as silicon, manganese, and phosphorous are used to ensure that the steel produced is of high quality. Steel is the major metal consumed in large quantities around the world. Industrially Significant Elements and Compounds Steel is classified into three categories known as carbon steel, stainless steel and alloy steel. However, all steels are seen as being alloys. Steels are categorized as alloys because they contain other metals apart from manganese, silicon and phosphorous. These compounds are introduced as deliberate additions to the iron and carbon mixture (Hall, 1997). According to Hall (1997), Carbon steel varies on the ability of strength, how easily they can be welded and how easily they can be formed as well as their ability to be used in the formation of machines. Carbon steels are produced according to the range of quality. This is due to the level of certain element concentration. However, all carbon steel can rust if exposed to air, salts and acids. Further, when carbon steel is bound to be exposed to some corrosive materials, they can be coated with paint or epoxy. Other metals can also be used to coat carbon to prevent any effects caused by corrosive materials. Currently, the readily available metal coatings of steal include zinc and other compound of zinc or aluminum. These steel metal coatings are used in food and beverage industries for safety measures. Another important element of steel to be considered is the stainless steel. Stainless steels are produced with the main aim of preventing rust or corrosion. Apart from coating the surface of carbon steel, this only ensures that there is no corrosion while the coating is intact. Steel industries also use another element known as Chromium. Chromium can be used solely or with other alloying metals. Stainless steels normally contain about 50 percent iron and 9.5 percent chromium. Chromium oxide film of the surface of steel ensures that it is well protected from corrosive materials. The unique property of chromium oxide that makes it suitable for use on steel surfaces is that it is inert. When the stainless steel is cut, or is chipped, its protective cover is able to reform due to its exposure to oxygen (Hall, 1997). Several type of stainless steel can be produce. The commonest type of stainless steel is called Austenitic or type 300 series. This type of steel is composed of a considerable amount of expensive nickel which prevents any corrosion from salts and acids. Stainless steel is often used in food ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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