When iron is mixed with carbon, you create an alloy called steel. Carbon is the most cost efficient alloying material to mix with iron, though there are many other elements that can create a multitude of other alloys. Carbon, as well as other elements, is used as a hardening agent. These agents prevent dislocations in the iron atom ?¢‚Ç¨Àúcrystal lattice?¢‚Ç¨‚Ñ¢ by preventing them from slipping past one another. Varying the elements and their consistency controls the hardness, ductility and tensile strength of the steel product. Steel that contains more carbon can be made not only harder and stronger than simple iron, but it will also be less ductile.
Cast vs. wrought
Cast iron is one alloy made with higher carbon content. This metal is desirable because it possesses a low melting point and it has very good ?¢‚Ç¨?ìcastability?¢‚Ç¨¬ù qualities. Wrought iron can contain a small amount of carbon but it has not been refined enough to remove other impurities. Steel has increased rust resistance and it is also more adaptable to welding uses.
The versatility of steel
There are many steel matrixes that are created during the smelting process. All of these different matrixes have different qualities and therefore different uses. Through the years, there have been many different processes of refining the steel, each new process being better and quicker than the last. Steel is still a major part of our industrial world. It is used in everything from our homes to our automobiles to the offices we work in. It is one of the most common building materials in use, and because of its ability to be recycled it is becoming more and more popular as a green solution to building.