An alloy is a substance consisting of 2 or more chemical elements with one of them being a metal thus resulting in desire metallic properties. Steel is in alloy of iron and carbon.
|Elements||Main functions of these elements|
|Carbon (C)||Directly influences the hardness and strength of the steel, decreases toughness.|
|Chromium (Cr)||Improves Hardenability, high temperature strength, wear resistance and even Corrosion resistance (Cr>14%)|
|Cobalt (Co)||Improves retention of hardness at high temperatures.|
|Molybdenum (Mo)||Increases yield point and strength, improves Hardenability and wear resistance.|
|Manganese||Lowers effects of iron sulphides, increase hardenability, wear resistance.|
|Nickel (Ni)||Increases toughness at lower temperatures, slow the corrosion process.|
|Tungston (W)||Improves toughness, grainstructure, high temperature strength, wear resistance, ect.|
|Vanadium (V)||Increases wear resistance, high temperature strength, retention of hardness etc.|
|Silicon (Si)||It is a deoxidizing agent. Increases strength and wear resistance.|
It is of importance that certain elements are as low as possible. Elements like Hydrogen, Oxygen, Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Sulphur create defects inside & also reduce the mechanical properties of steel.