In 2018, the global steel industry produced around 1,808 million tons of steel broken down into approximately 3,500 different grades, each with different chemical and physical properties.
75% of these grades were developed in the last 20 years to suit different applications. All of these grades can be grouped into 4 categories: Carbon Steel, Tool Steel, Stainless Steel and Alloying Steel (both high and low). Each of these steels, whether wear resistant or abrasion resistant, have the same basic ingredients of iron and carbon but with different formulations of alloys.
Carbon steels have less than 1% carbon and between 5 – 10% other alloying elements.
Sub-categories of carbon steel include:
- Low Carbon (0.03 – 0.05% carbon);
- Medium Carbon (0.24 – 0.50% carbon);
- High Carbon (0.55 – 1.1% carbon).
Low carbon steel deforms under stress, making it less wear and abrasion resistant. However, as the carbon content increases, the steel becomes harder and more difficult to work.
Tool steels have 0.05 – 1.5% carbon, but also have many other alloying elements such as chromium, tungsten vanadium and molybdenum just to name a few. These steels are designed to hold an edge and take mega impact, which makes them wear resistant and ideal for machining, tool and die making, and punching dies.
Stainless steels are known for being the most corrosion resistant steel due to their high content of chrome and nickel (up to 35%). Most stainless steels have a highly reflective surface due the large chrome content.
When alloying elements are added to carbon steel, alloy steel is made. These alloy steels are sub-divided into Low Alloy and High Alloy Steels, and as the name implies, have more or less alloying elements.
Alloying elements are expensive, so the more they are added, the more expensive the steel is. Alloying elements can affect micro-structure, heat treatment and mechanical properties including the ability to “Work Harden”. The more you hit them, the harder they get.
Types of Wear Resistant Alloy Steels
ENDURA, ENDURA Dual and TITUS Manganese are High Alloy steels. They are considered high performance wear and abrasion resistant steels, exhibiting a wear resistance 500% greater than carbon steels and 50% more than Low Alloy Steels.
ENDURA, ENDURA Dual and TITUS Manganese are improved as a result of the combination of an enriched alloying content (chromium, nickel, molybdenum, titanium, and manganese) and specific heat treatment procedures. All 3 steels also “Work Harden” unlike other Low or High Alloy steels.
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