Steel is a general term for iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content of between 0.02% and 2.11% by mass. The chemical composition of steel can vary greatly. Steels containing only carbon are called carbon steel (carbon steel) or ordinary steel. In actual production, steel often contains different alloying elements depending on the application, such as manganese, Nickel, vanadium, etc.
Humans have a long history of application and research in steel, but until the invention of the Bayesian steelmaking process in the 19th century, steel production was a costly and inefficient job. Today, steel is one of the most used materials in the world for its low price and reliable performance. It is an indispensable component in the construction industry, manufacturing industry and people's daily life. It can be said that steel is the material basis of modern society.
The national standard GB/T 13304-91 "Steel Classification" of the People's Republic of China describes: "Materials containing iron as the main element and containing less than 2% carbon and containing other elements." Generally speaking, except for chromium steel. For other steel grades, the carbon content of some chrome steels is allowed to be greater than 2%. The iron alloy containing more than 2% carbon is cast iron. The definition of steel in other international standards such as ISO 4948 or EN 10020 is similar.
Strictly speaking, steel is an iron-carbon alloy with a carbon content between 0.0218% and 2.11 %. We usually refer to it as iron and steel. In order to ensure its toughness and plasticity, the carbon content generally does not exceed 1.7%. In addition to iron and carbon, the main elements of steel include silicon, manganese, sulfur, and phosphorus. The other ingredients are designed to differentiate the properties of the steel.
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