Tech Steel & Materials offers alloy steels in a variety of forms – rod, bar, sheet, plate, strip, tube and forgings – for use in the aerospace, defense and power generation industries.
While all steels are alloys composed of iron and carbon, not all steels can be considered “alloy steels.” The term “alloy steel” generally refers to steels consisting of carbon and other alloying elements that make up between 1 and 50 percent of the alloy steel’s weight. The varying combinations and percentages of alloying elements that make up an alloy steel determine the alloy’s properties and can be manipulated to achieve certain desired qualities such as corrosion resistance, strength or extreme temperature stability.
The amount of carbon, the level of impurities and additional alloying elements determine the specific property of each steel grade. The elements used in alloys are manganese, phosphorus and sulfur, as well as other elements such as nickel, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, silicon and boron. Less commonly seen are aluminum, cobalt, copper, cerium, niobium, titanium, tungsten, tin, zinc, lead and zirconium.
While there are low- and high-alloy steels, the term “alloy steel” is most often used to refer to low-alloy steels that are used for their high strength, hardenability and corrosion resistance.
However, low-alloy steel is often difficult to weld due its medium to high carbon levels. Lowering the carbon content improves the weldability and formability of steel while still preserving its strength. The result is a high-strength low-alloy steel that offers superior hardness, toughness and wear, corrosion and heat resistance than carbon steel.
Alloy steels are used in such high-demand aerospace and aeronautics applications such as landing gear, shafts, structural components and tooling.