Steel is basically an alloy of iron and carbon with a small percentage of other metals such as nickel, chromium, aluminum, cobalt, molybdenum, tungsten etc. Steel is a hard ductile and malleable solid and is probably the most solid material after plastic and iron.
If we draw a comparison between iron and steel, we find steel in many ways even better than iron. Steel may not be as strong as iron is but it far more resistant and does not corrode and gets rusted like iron does.
There are many different types of steel classified on the basis of the type of metal used and the percentage content of the metal in the particular type of steel.
Below given are some commonly used types of steel:
Carbon steel is simply composed of iron and carbon with a more percentage of carbon in it than the iron.
It is probably the most commonly used type of steel. The presence of excess carbon makes this type of steel is softer than the other types of steel which contain some percentage of other elements as well.
Carbon steel is mostly used in the making of wood cutting tools because they can be sharpened easily. However it cannot be used in the making of tools used for the cutting of hard substances because it is not hard enough for that purpose. It is also used in the making of axes, swords, scissors and other cutting tools.
The mild carbon steel just like the high carbon steel is simply composed of iron and carbon but it has a very low content of carbon in it.
This steel is used in the making of vehicle frames, panels, boxes, cases and sheet metal for roofs. It is now also used as a replacement for wrought iron in the making railroad rails.
The medium carbon steels have a normal content of carbon that means that they are not as hard as the high carbon and neither are they as strong the Mild carbon steel.
They are used in the making of tool frames and springs.
Stain less steel is the most resistant and commonly used steel of all the types. It apart from carbon contains 11% chromium and some amount of nickel. It is probably the most resistant steel of all the types.
Although all the types of steel are generally resistant to rust and corrosion, the stainless steel in particular is resistant to any sort of external attack. Even a scratch cannot stay on the surface of stainless steel.
This steel is used in the making of crockery, wrist watches, kitchen utensils, cutlery and surgical equipments.
High Speed Steel
High speed steel is an alloy of steel which may consists of either of the following metals: tungsten, cobalt, molybdenum or chromium.
High speed steel is probably the toughest of all the types. The term high speed is given to it due to the fact that it has the ability to cut the metals.
And that is the reason it is used in the making of drills and tools and power saws.
The hardness and rigidity of high speed steel depends on the metal used in the making of the alloy and its percentage of composition in it.
Basically this steel is used in the making of tools that cut other metals.
Cobalt is much like the high speed steel with an excess of cobalt present in it.
It is too like the high speed steel is used for drilling purposes.
It might not be as hard as the high speed steel is but it too can drill through certain types of metals. The drill tools made of cobalt steel have a touch of brown color.
Nickel Chromium Steel
Nickel chromium steel is has is a special type of steel which apart from being strong s also shock resistant therefore it is commonly used as an armor plate.
Aluminum steel is smooth steel with a high content of aluminum. Because of its strong and smooth surface it is used in the making of furniture.
Chromium steels have a high content of chromium and are resistant to corrosion.
They are very strong, ensile and are elastic in nature. They are used in the making of Automobile and airplane parts.