Four Kinds of Steel: What Makes One Different From the Rest

These days, the options for steel have expanded to suit a lot of the unique needs of buyer across different industries. However, not all kinds of steel are equal. Professionals in the piping industry should learn about the kinds of steel available in the market today and why some types are better than others. Some industries don’t mind using  surplus steel but others prefer new ones. Keep reading to learn more about these:

Carbon Steel

To create this kind of steel, carbon is added to iron. In the contemporary industry, carbon is a prominent additive to a ferrous metal; however, there are many alloying elements available. Indeed, alloying elements in piping products are still regarded as carbon steel.

Carbon steel pipes are widely used across a lot of industries because of their strength and ease of workability. They tend to be inexpensive since they have few alloying elements. But, they are not suitable for extreme temperatures and high-pressure service because they are less resistant to the accompanying stress.

Stainless Steel

Products made from stainless steel don’t rust. Stainless steel alloys can include silicon, chromium, nickel, manganese, and molybdenum. They work together to interact with oxygen in water and air to form a thin but strong film over the steel which prevents corrosion. Any industry can use stainless steel pipes if corrosion protection matters. Although stainless steel pipes are essentially alloy pipes, they are not ideal for extreme service unless they are appropriately heated to boost their resistance to impact and strength.

Alloy Steel

This steel includes specified amounts of alloying elements. In general, these elements increase the strength of steel and its resistance to stress and impact. Common alloying elements used in producing steel include chromium, nickel, manganese, copper, silicon, and more.

The piping industry prefers to use high-alloy kinds of steel for service in extreme conditions. The combination of proper heat treating and chemistry can produce strong but ductile pipes that can withstand the extremes.  The toughness of alloy pipes is usually the reasons the oil and gas and power generation industries favor them.

Tool Steel

This steel converts other kinds of steel into equipment or products used in industries. It is extremely tough, strong, corrosion-resistant, and ductile. Also, tool steel can retain cutting edges and maintain its shape even when exposed to high temperatures. This is possible because it contains a high concentration of alloying elements that are appropriately heat-treated. But, they are not well-suited for piping products. This is because they tend to be more expensive to produce and harder to form into piping products. This has to do with the incorporation of higher quantities of alloys into the making of tool steel.

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