Chemical Elements


Element Influence
Al Aluminum

A powerful deoxidizer and nitride former. In small amounts, can serve as a powerful, inexpensive grain refiner ( i.e., restricts Austenitic grain growth ). Can improve toughness, especially at low temperatures.

B Boron

Strongly increases hardenability, by suppressing Ferrite precipitation during transformation from Austenite during heat treatment. Effective in very small amounts ( less than 0.003% B ).

Also Boron reduces the brittleness of hardened steel, by having a positive influence on the transformation from Ferrite to Austenite to Martensite Structure. Especially on steels with lower carbon content (e.g. C=0.27%) that tend to transform inert, Boron strongly improves the transformation process.

C Carbon

The principal element responsible for hardness in steel, due to formation of Fe 3C upon cooling through the Transformation Temperature, when Gamma Iron ( Austenite ) decomposes into Alpha Iron ( Ferrite ) + Fe3C ( Iron Carbide ). Increases tensile strength in steels. Ductility generally decreases as C increases, but in most cases this effect can be offset with proper heat treatment. Weldability decreases as C increases. Excess oxygen usage may be required to remove excess C ( takes furnace time ).

Cr Chrome

Cr is a strong carbide former, and can improve wear resistance and somewhat increase resistance to softening during tempering. 

Improves hardenability depth. Promotes the response of steel containing Cr the effects of carburizing heat treatment. In combination with even very low P, Sn, As or Sb contents, Chromium and Ni-Cr alloy steels are particularly susceptible to "temper embrittlement" (loss of ductility when tempering or slow cooling in the range 700-1100 F). When Cr > 4%, corrosion resistance greatly improves ( Responsible for corrosion resistance in Stainless Steels ). Not readily oxidized from bath; requires high temperatures, increased heat time and slag volume.

Cr makes steel oil and air hardenable.

Mo Molybdenum

Mo is a strong Carbide former and has a high effect on hardenability.  Improves control of heat treatment by inhibiting formation of certain microstructures ( e.g., Pearlite ). Can improve high temperature corrosion resistance.  Can improve toughness & fatique properties. Expensive.

Vanadium V and Molybdenum Mo Both have influence on better toughness and have the same negative influence as Cr they are mostly used as fragility compensatory in High carbon steels like D2 or in extreme cause in 440V steel.

Mn Manganese

Mn extremely reduces the critical cooling temperature und increases hardenability. Yield strength, tensile strength and durability increase with increasing Mn content. Also Mn has positive impact on forging and weld ability and increases through hardening.

Ni Nickel

Improves harden ability. Reduces distortion in heat treating. Permits use of milder quenching media. Improves weldability, plasticity & fatique properties. Improves toughness, especially at low temperatures. Improves corrosion resistance.

P Phosphorus

Phosphor P and Sulfur S:  these elements are necessary intrusions caused by metallurgic process. They are undesirable and their content should be less than 0,025 %.

S Sulphur

Phosphor P and Sulfur S:  these elements are necessary intrusions caused by metallurgic process. They are undesirable and their content should be less than 0,025 %.

Si Silicon

Si is an element (like Mn) that is contained in every kind of steel since already iron ore has a certain amount. In content up to 0,5% it has positive influence on mechanical properties and helps to perform hot forming of steel.  Si deoxidizes and increases durability and strongly increases elasticity. Only steel with more than 0.40% is called silicon steel.

W Tungsten

Forms extremely hard, stable carbides. Used almost exclusively in High Speed and other tool steels (requiring wear resistance and high hot hardness). Very expensive. Used in the manufacture of High Speed Tool Steel, but otherwise almost never used due to extremely high cost.

V Vanadium

Vanadium V and Molybdenum Mo Both have influence on better toughness and have the same negative influence as Cr they are mostly used as fragility compensatory in High carbon steels like D2 or in extreme cause in 440V steel.

V is an effective grain refiner ( i.e., restricts Austenitic grain growth ). Strong carbide and nitride former ( improves abrasion resistance ).  Improves yield strength, toughness and hot hardness. Strongly increases resistance to softening during tempering. Expensive.

Please get in touch right away and give us an idea about your requirements. We will send you full details and a proposal on no-obligation basis as soon as possible.

get in touch