The Different Types of Steel
Steel is an alloy, this means it is not naturally found but made from man. The type of steel made at the end of the process depends on the various kinds of metals that have been melted and how the metals are cooled, heated and handled. Steel ranges in price and are appropriate for specific projects.
Stainless steel is known as the cheapest metal to produce. Stainless steel has become increasingly popular for construction projects because it does not rust, also known as corrosion resistant steel. Unlike other forms of steel, stainless steel is up from chromium and not carbon. Chromium forms a protective layer over the steel. Stainless steel gained popularity during the Art Deco because of its shiny appearance. The most important reason stainless steel is a popular material for building with is because of the high recyclable nature. Stainless steel is 100% recyclable and very environmentally friendly.
This type of steel is similar to high-speed steel, but has a higher concentration of cobalt. Cobalt steel is ideal for extreme heat or friction, but is very hard and brittle. This results in shattering or cracking when there are heavy loads or pressure. The appearance of cobalt steel is bright blue in colour, unless it is chemically treated after the production process.
Carbon steel comes in two different forms, high alloy steel and high carbon steel. Both kinds of steel are extremely soft and cost effective. Carbon is the main component of carbon steel, which if not properly protected from oxidation can easily rust and corrode.
Carbide is an extremely strong element, holding three times more strength when compared to their natural state. This kind of steel is commonly added to steel structures that need extra support. Carbide is rather hazardous if inhaled in dust form, causing fibrosis. Therefore, carbide steel is produced under severe health and safety restrictions and should be handled by a professional with experience.
This is commonly known as HSS and is commonly used to crea
te tools as it is resistant to abrasion and intense amount of friction. High-speed steel is affordable and can be produced in enormous quantities.
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