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Plain Carbon Steels, Classification, Designation

Properties Of Low Alloy Steels And Alloying Elements


The plain carbon steels are explained in Mechanical Base. As you know, low alloy steels do not include alloying elements to improve the characteristics of steels. In low alloy steels, these alloying elements are added to improve the characteristics of steels. In this article, we will explain the low alloy steels, properties of the low alloy steels and alloying elements that are used in low alloy steels.

What Is The Low Alloy Steel?

Low alloy steel slabs(Image Source: Indiamart).

Low alloy steels include alloying elements up to 5% by weight. These percentages of alloying elements(except from carbon) in steels are the low alloy steels which means includes alloying elements at low amount.

What Are The Generally Used Alloying Elements In Low Alloy Steels?

  • Chromium(Cr): This alloying element give the properties of  strength, hardness, wear resistance, and hot hardness to steels. Also Cr improves the corrosion strength.
  • Manganese(Mn): It gives hardness and strength to the steel. Also with the significant amount of Mn, steel will be hardenable.
  • Molybdenum(Mo): It gives the properties of toughness and hot hardness properties to steel.
  • Nickel(Ni): It gives thestrength and toughness to the steels. It increases hardenability but not as much as some of the other alloying elements in steel. In significant amounts it improves corrosion resistance and is the other major ingredient(besides chromium) in certain types of stainless steel.
  • Vanadium(V): Inhibits the phenomenon called as grain growth in high temperature processes such as heat treatment. Strength and toughness is increased and increases the wear resistance of steel .

Welding of these low alloy steels is vert troublesome. Low carbon steels can have very superior properties compared with plain carbon steels but the weldability is also a very important parameter. HSLA(High Strength Low Alloy Steels) steels are produced with much more lower alloy rates according to standards in low alloy steels without losing its weldability characteristics.

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