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 Alloy Steel Castings  

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Alloy steel is a steel that is alloyed with various elements (1.0% to 50% by weight) to improve its mechanical properties. Alloy steels are divided into two groups: low alloy steels and high alloy steels. Most commonly, the term "alloy steel" refers to low alloy steel.

Common Alloys in Alloy Steels
Strictly speaking, every steel is an alloy, but not all steels are called "alloy steels". The simplest steel is an alloy of iron (Fe) and carbon (C) (about 0.1% to 1%, depending on the type). However, the term "alloyed steel" is a standard term referring to steels that have deliberately added other alloying elements in addition to carbon. Common alloying agents include manganese (the most common one), nickel, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, silicon, and boron. Less common alloying agents include aluminum, cobalt, copper, cerium, niobium, titanium, tungsten, tin, zinc, lead, and zirconium.

Alloying elements are added to alloy steel castings to achieve certain properties of the material. As a guideline, alloying elements are added in low percentages (less than 5%) to increase strength or hardenability, or in larger percentages (over 5%) for special properties such as corrosion resistance or extreme temperature stability sex. Manganese, silicon or aluminum are added to remove dissolved oxygen, sulfur and phosphorus from the melt during the steelmaking process.

The following are alloy steel casting properties: strength, hardness, toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, hardenability and hot hardness. To achieve some of these improved properties, the metal may require heat treatment.

Some of these can be used in exotic and demanding applications such as turbine blades for jet engines, spacecraft and nuclear reactors. Due to the ferromagnetic properties of iron, some steel alloys find important applications where their response to magnetism is important, including in electric motors and transformers. The uses and applications of alloy steel castings span a wide variety of industries and casting types.

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