A carbon steel with an ultra-high carbon content, commonly known as “cast iron” exhibits great hardness and brittleness and is an ideal steel with major applications.
What is Carbon Steel?
Carbon steel is considered a cast iron – a metal alloy which consists of carbon and iron. But other elements like manganese and carbon are also present in the composition of the steel though they make few contributions to its properties.
Carbon steels play a wide variety of roles in many industries. They are primarily used in crimping, bending, and swaging processes since they are by nature highly malleable, weldable, and machinable.
Carbon steel has earned an impeccable track record and high demand in the industry these days due to its availability in almost all compositions. Though it is utilized in various industrial applications, carbon steel is particularly useful in heat exchangers and boilers.
The Different Compositions of Carbon Steel
- Mild Low Carbon Steels
These steels are less strong but they are cheap and easy to shape. Their hardness is increased through carburizing. Strengthening low carbon steels is not done through heat treatments but through cold working. These types of steels are weak and malleable but they do possess excellent toughness and ductility. Moreover, they are weldable, machinable, and fairly inexpensive in production.
- Medium Carbon Steels
These carbon steels have a balanced ductility and strength. They also boast good wear resistance. Medium carbon steels are used for forging, manufacturing large parts, and car parts. They are processed through heat-treated conditions including quenching, austenitizing, and tempering to achieve enhanced mechanical properties. Once the medium carbon steel is heat-treated, it can have tremendous load carrying ability.
- High Carbon Steels
These steels are very strong and they are often used in high-strength wires and springs. The higher strength and hardness are obtained through an increase in carbon content. These steels tend to have an economical approach for improving performance.
- Very High Carbon Steels
These carbon steels are already very strong. They are often specially processed and intended for the production of specific atomic and molecular microstructures.
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Applications of Carbon Steel
Carbon steel has a lot of applications and uses such as forging grades, spring steels (both round and flat rolled), wire rope, rail steels, tire reinforcement, wear resistant steels (plates and forgings), pre-stressed concrete, and high strength bars. There are common processes implemented to charge and increase the performance of carbon steel by maximizing hardness and strength. The rise in carbon levels is one factor behind the increasing use of carbon steel in large manufacturing industries and market sectors nowadays.
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The Basics of Aluminum Alloy
Aluminum is the most abundant metal in Earth’s crust after silicon and oxygen. It has a silvery-white appearance and contains a lot of valuable mechanical properties. It possesses 60% of the electrical conductivity of copper, with much lower density, making it a lightweight material perfect for aircraft and aerospace construction.
Pure aluminum is soft and ductile, but it can be strengthened when it is alloyed with other elements like magnesium, copper, and silicon. Such alloys possess better corrosion resisting properties, with a protective oxide coating that is achieved and enhanced through the process of anodization. Their lightweight and non-toxic mechanical properties enable them to be easily machined and cast. One good thing about aluminum is that it is recyclable, which can save considerable amounts of energy. They only need to undergo a melting process in order for them to be reused.
Aluminum alloys have low density, therefore, they are lightweight which is one of the key factors to consider in constructing an aircraft and its vital parts. Other important properties they possess are malleability, high strength, easy machining, good electrical and thermal conductivity, and excellent corrosion resistance.
Aluminum in the Aviation Industry
80 percent of commercial transport aircraft frames are made up of aluminum. This alloy is the top choice for the construction of aircraft and parts like wings and fuselage. Most navy aircraft are mainly made of fabricated aluminum. The focus on aluminum casting technology is continuing to earn recognition with its countless advantages in forming complex parts for aircraft structure. With a low manufacturing cost, Aluminum Alloy is the top choice for incorporating innovative and complicated design concepts in the aviation industry.
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