Alloying Elements

(Al) Aluminum: used to control grain growth and austenitic grain size. Aids in producing a uniform hard nitrided case. A deoxidizer and degasifier.

(C) Carbon: the most important element in steel production. Increases strength, hardness and wear resistance but lowers machinability, toughness, and ductility.

(Cr) Chromium: increases strength, toughness, hardness and hardenability, wear resistance and corrosion resistance.

(Co) Cobalt: increases strength and hardness. Allows higher quenching temperatures and can increase the effects of other alloying elements.

(Pb) Lead: added to increase machinability. Being insoluble, lead particles reduce friction and aid in chip formation.

(Mn) Manganese: increases strength, hardness and hardenability, and wear resistance while also increasing carbon penetration while carburizing. A deoxidizer and degasifier.

(Mo) Molybdenum: increases strength, hardness and hardenability, toughness, as well as mechanical properties at elevated temperatures. Increases machinability and corrosion resistance. Also can increase the effects of other alloying elements.

(Ni) Nickel: increases strength and hardness without sacrificing toughness like other elements. Increases corrosion resistance when used in high chrome stainless grades.

(P) Phosphorus: increases strength, hardness and machinability but sacrifices toughness.

(Si) Silicon: increases strength, hardness and magnetic permeability. A deoxidizer and degasifier.

(S) Sulfur: added to increase machinability but greatly reduces toughness, ductility and weldability.

(Ti) Titanium: forms carbides in stainless grades to increase strength and corrosion resistance.

(W) Tungsten: increases strength, hardness and toughness as well as increased mechanical properties at elevated temperatures.

(V) Vanadium: increases strength, hardness and shock resistance. Controls grain growth to allow higher quenching temperatures. Increases properties of high speed grades at higher temperatures and can intensify the effects of other alloying elements.