What is Steel: Definition and 834 Discussions

Steel is an alloy made up of iron with typically a few tenths of a percent of carbon to improve its strength and fracture resistance compared to iron. Many other elements may be present or added. Stainless steels that are corrosion- and oxidation-resistant need typically an additional 11% chromium. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, steel is used in buildings, infrastructure, tools, ships, trains, cars, machines, electrical appliances, and weapons. Iron is the base metal of steel. Depending on the temperature, it can take two crystalline forms (allotropic forms): body-centred cubic and face-centred cubic. The interaction of the allotropes of iron with the alloying elements, primarily carbon, gives steel and cast iron their range of unique properties.
In pure iron, the crystal structure has relatively little resistance to the iron atoms slipping past one another, and so pure iron is quite ductile, or soft and easily formed. In steel, small amounts of carbon, other elements, and inclusions within the iron act as hardening agents that prevent the movement of dislocations.
The carbon in typical steel alloys may contribute up to 2.14% of its weight. Varying the amount of carbon and many other alloying elements, as well as controlling their chemical and physical makeup in the final steel (either as solute elements, or as precipitated phases), slows the movement of those dislocations that make pure iron ductile, and thus controls and enhances its qualities. These qualities include the hardness, quenching behaviour, need for annealing, tempering behaviour, yield strength, and tensile strength of the resulting steel. The increase in steel's strength compared to pure iron is possible only by reducing iron's ductility.
Steel was produced in bloomery furnaces for thousands of years, but its large-scale, industrial use began only after more efficient production methods were devised in the 17th century, with the introduction of the blast furnace and production of crucible steel. This was followed by the open-hearth furnace and then the Bessemer process in England in the mid-19th
century. With the invention of the Bessemer process, a new era of mass-produced steel began. Mild steel replaced wrought iron. The German states saw major steel prowess over Europe in the 19th century.Further refinements in the process, such as basic oxygen steelmaking (BOS), largely replaced earlier methods by further lowering the cost of production and increasing the quality of the final product. Today, steel is one of the most common man made materials in the world, with more than 1.6 billion tons produced annually. Modern steel is generally identified by various grades defined by assorted standards organisations.

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  1. Dante Meira

    B Speed of sound in steel at different temperatures?

    Is there a formula to calculate the speed of propagation of sound waves through steel (a steel bar, for example) according to the temperature of steel?
  2. abrogard

    Forces Required For Steeling A Blade?

    A question, this. Something I would like to know. Practical physics I think. 'Applied physics' I believe. I wondered at the purpose and efficacy of 'steeling' knives and learned that the process is intended to repair damage to an edge rather than 'sharpen' in the sense of 'create a sharp...
  3. N

    Wood/Glass/Metal Batting Cage Steel Tubes - What size do I use

    I am building a batting cage in my backyard. The cage will be 12x12x70. I'd like to use 4 steel posts. The posts will be 4 feet into the ground. I was considering using 4 x .120 A500/A513 post and cable. Can the posts handle the load? I believe the net weighs about 140 lbs.
  4. A

    I Distribution of torsion in a steel guitar string

    This isn't a question about torsion pendulums because it goes well beyond linear physics. The question is roughly, how many times can you rotate the end of a steel string, with the other end fixed, before it breaks? Also, how does the torsion distribute along the string? I tried to answer both...
  5. peabody1998

    Newbie needs help with angle iron load calculation

    I am trying to decide on the material and dimensions for the rail. The rails are supported on either side of a 10ft span. -- What dimension steel angle can carry a 200lb load across a 10ft span? a=? b=? c=? -- What dimension aluminum angle can carry a 200lb load across a 10ft span? a=? b=? c=?
  6. O

    How to calculate iron losses in a steel ring around a conductor?

    Hi I'm looking for calculation example how to calculate iron losses in steel ring around current carrying conductor. I have tried to find examples online, but without a suitable result.
  7. M

    Alternative material to the springs used in furniture

    Hello guys, I started as a R&D engineer in a furniture factory. The factory asked me to find an alternative material to the s-spring and turn it into a project. This material can also be produced and should be cheaper than spring steel. The S-spring is made of 1070 and 1090 spring steels. In...
  8. RobbyQ

    I Does heating weaken the strong nuclear/electromagnetic forces

    In this steel forging video, does the heat weaken the strong nuclear and electromagnetic forces allowing compression?
  9. abdulbadii

    Stainless steel as ferromagnetic or non/paramagnetic

    Why is this stainless steel ferromagnetic while that one is non/paramagnetic, how's each proportion of them and what's its key difference that'd determines such the distinction?
  10. S

    Prolonging the Life of Poorly Accessible Rusted Steel

    I had a rear 3/16" OD steel brake line in my car fail due to rust. I spliced out the area with the hole with copper nickel line, but, I noticed that there's areas closer to the engine where the painted surfaces have bubbled a bit. Unfortunately, access is such that I can't splice fresh line...
  11. D

    Construction Steel cage weight load capacity needed

    I have a VERTICAL standing square tube 1.25" x 1.25" x 1/16" thick. Length/Height = 79" Material = steel How do you determine its max load capacity for this tube when mounted vertically? I plan to use 18 of these vertical posts, evenly spaced, creating an 83" x 131" rectangular structure. They...
  12. D

    Calculating Load Capacity of Steel Cage with A-frame Roof

    I have a steel cage 7 ft by 11 ft and 7 ft high. It's made out of standard 1 in square steel vertical tubing. Each vertical tube is spaced 18 inches apart all the way around the cage. All vertical posts are welded to a 2 in L-bar all the way around the top, and the bottom. I'm trying to...
  13. abdulbadii

    Galvanized Steel vs High Carbon Steel: Mechanical Performance

    In what condition and how definitively galvanized steel is lower in mechanical performance and counts to be ruled out replacing high carbon steel ?
  14. abdulbadii

    Force to smooth a 1 mm surface bump out of a steel of sheet

    Roughly, how much force does it take to make 1 mm surface bump of diameter 16 mm circle area out of 1 mm thick steel plate of far larger area (e.g. a muscled hand pounding it laid over the base with 16 mm dia. hole by M16 bolt medium is viable enough) ?
  15. O

    M700 Steel in Maxwell Electronics 2D Material Library

    Hi everybody, I don't have M700 grade silicon/electrical steel data to add to Maxwell Electronics 2D Material Library. How/Where can I find this data? Could you help me? Thanks, Oguzhan Gonc
  16. Mm22

    Heat Treating ASTM A709 Grade A Steel

    If I know the standard of the steal I have let's say ASTM A709 grade A how do I determine the temperature and time necessary for any heat treatment to be done on it?
  17. C

    Help for bending calculation rectangular steel tube

    Hi all In order to make a metal preframe for a French window as an entrance door, I began to estimate the possibility of building it in rectangular steel tubes of 100 x 50 x 3 mm, laid independently of the walls that could not accept such a load because it was timber framed. The preframe will...
  18. S

    Determine eigenvalue-problem for steel pole

    If we assume that ##\psi## has a Fourier transform ##\hat{\psi}##, so that ##\psi(x,t)=\frac{1}{2\pi}\int_{-\infty}^{\infty}\hat{\psi}(x,\omega)e^{i\omega t}\mathrm{d}\omega##, then the wave equation reduces to ##-\rho\omega^2\hat{\psi}(x,\omega)=E\frac{\partial^2 \hat{\psi}(x,\omega)}{\partial...
  19. W

    Parasitic Inductance, rough estimate -Single cable through steel

    DC case - but customer ran their cable run through a couple boxes, this would not be allowed in AC due to the eddy current created in fittings and the enclosure steel. ( I do not even know if code would allow this for DC) - but anyway. This is part of a high power dc system and I suspect the...
  20. old fart

    Calculating Force Needed to Raise Steel Tower

    How did you find PF?: looking for simple formula to calculate force needed to raise steel tower. I am not on social media and have no idea how to use a forum. at almost 80, I find having to hand crank a ham radio tower up and down to be challenging. I must lay it down to work on the antennas...
  21. D

    Stress in steel brackets

    Hi, I have developed a catenary software that calculates the tension force resulting from the wire and now I am working on suitable fixing methods and including the option for this within the software. Has anyone got any guidance on working out the stresses applied on the attached...
  22. B

    B Thermos Bottle: Stainless Steel Inside & Out - 24h Cold & 12h Hot

    Manufacturer information: Interior material: stainless steel Exterior materials: Stainless steel Keeps cold liquid for: 24 hours Keeps hot liquid for: 12 hI was looking for a thermos bottle and came across a situation that I'm having a hard time answering. Why is the cold keeping time different...
  23. R

    Anode rods and their effect on steel piping

    Water heaters have a sacrificial anode rod inside of them to protect the steel tank. These rods are usually made of magnesium or aluminum, and sometimes zinc. Please note that zinc anodes are made of a combination of aluminum and zinc, 1 proportion of zinc to 10 proportions of aluminum. I...
  24. F

    Will a 4x4 Steel Tube Fail Under 35-40,000 lbs?

    Have a lifting yoke with 7/8 inch lifting eyes welded onto the ends of a 3/16 or 1/4 inch wall 4x4 a500 or a513 square steel tube. Expected UDL is as much as 35-40,000 lbs. Is this tube going to fail?
  25. U

    Calculating Force to Push Steel Rod Up 50 cm

    Hello ,all I'm calculating the force that required to push steel rod up 50 cm into water filled steel tank . pls see picture . If i exclude negligible friction force (which is friction between steel rod and water sealing gaskets ) Total Force = Force to lift 40 kg rod + Fluid Force...
  26. D

    Cooling time for Steel Tubes

    I am working on a new application and am trying to figure out how I can calculate the cooling rate of Steel. I have a load of Steel Tubes. 1200lb total mass. Tubes have some variance on size depending on what is being run on a given day, but nominally, we are looking at 1" OD x .1875" Wall x...
  27. Kawana87

    Tongue weight capability of 2x3x.125 steel tube at 21"?

    Hello everyone. I'm building myself a half-rack for weight lifting that included 2 overhung support beams above from which to hang a safety strap incase of a failed lift. They are made from 2x3x.125 steel tube (they're Oriented with the 3" vertically). The tube are overhung by 21". How much...
  28. S

    Force to Close/slam a steel door gate

    How did you find PF?: Google Hi 👋 I have a question 🙋‍♀️ that’s needs help Can I calculate the following ? 1. A person slams a door gate 2. Calculate the force given the height and weight of a person , and the area of the door gate 3. How to calculate the decibel produced by slamming...
  29. Iwanttolearnphysics

    About steel balls of different masses and net force

    I don't understand why the answer is B. Here's my thinking: Since it wasn't mentioned that there's any other force aside from the drag force, then Fnet = Drag force I know that Fnet = ma, and since they have different masses, Fnet must be different for both balls? Acceleration cannot be...
  30. G

    Heating a steel spring then quenching in water

    Hi group, I heated a steel spring until red hot then plunged in water quenching it. My understanding is that quenching so quickly would have an effect of the grain size such that I would expect it to be much more brittle as with small grain there is much less plastic deformation possible (as...
  31. T

    I Calculating Torque for 100 Ton Steel Tube Press

    I have a problem, I need to calculate the torque required to rotate a steel tube 150mm OD, 90mm ID which is being pressed against a identical tube with a force of 100 Tons also the estimated torque imparted if the above parts come into contact with one part static and the second part rotating at...
  32. S

    Relative permeabilities in steel datasheets

    Hello, I have a question regarding BH-curves and relative permeabilities from electrical steel datasheets. When e.g. looking at the datasheet from the isovac 330-35A there is the data for the J/H-curve. I calculated B=mu_0*H + J and mu_r=B/(mu_0*H). When evaluating this calculation pointwise...
  33. W

    Iron and steel industry flows: A question

    Hello, I have a general question for the flows of steel-making up to the casting process. Is the general flow depicted by the image correct? This specific process relies on natural gas reforming to produce H2, which is then used to reduce iron ore. Are there any corrections that I have to make?
  34. R

    Choosing correct steel beam for a span

    I have a weight of 30,000 lbs distributed across a span of 100' and supported at the ends. If I have 3 beams to support this load, each beam would then need to hold 10,000 lbs, and with a F.S of 1.6 each beam would need to hold 16,000 lbs. If I assume my max deflection at 1", then I can find the...
  35. NSNS

    How to find maximum load on steel sqare tube

    how to find a maximum load on a steel square tube that has one fixed end to the wall and another end is hanging free. suppose the beam is 2230 mm long and the load is applied on the beam on the free end w= 1040 mm. but there also a steel square tube that welded to the middle of the beam and...
  36. K

    Is ABS or Stainless steel more inert? (moved to Engineering)

    I'm going to purchases some flexible downpipe for my home, for toilets and kitchen, in the market I can find mainly stainless steel or ABS, which material is usually more inert to common home liquid wastes and chemicals? From time to time I will flush some drain unclogger or other cleaning...
  37. F

    Stainless Steel and Anodised Aluminium

    Hello engineers, Is it ok to use stainless steel bolts in an anodised aluminium clamp? I know that I should avoid using stainless steel with plain aluminium because of risk of corrosion. Also, what torque would you recommend that I apply to an M10 stainless steel bolt in an anodised aluminium...
  38. potatotimer

    A steel shuttle is pulled along a rail, what is its initial acceleration?

    it sounds like you just need to use F/m = a which gives 25 / .76 = 32.89 = a this didn't work so I tried to get the x component of acceleration so I did 32.89cos(45) = 23.26 and this didn't work. what am I missing, the force is tension right so it should be 25N?
  39. M

    Determine how many bolts are needed to secure a block of steel

    I work in injection molding and I am looking to make some sort of standard for how many bolts are needed to secure what we call a "manifold spacer block". We are constantly battling each other about blocks being under or over secured, and as a manufacturing engineer, I am interested in knowing...
  40. Y

    Magnetic Saturation of A Piece of Steel

    Hi all. Given a piece of a steel 1018, as an example, with a spicific mass, how can one calculate the magnetic saturation-point of that piece either using mathematical or measuring methods? I've seen graphs stating the saturation points of different ferro-magnetic materials but, I assume, it...
  41. D

    Engineering Steel Frame Connection: Design and Moment Considerations

    Hi All, this is a steel frame , top beams sitting on top of column with steel plate cantilever at both sides (one side longer than the other) , so there will be hogging moment at the center support. However, the top steel beam is one whole piece, does the connection between the steel beam and...
  42. M

    What wall thickness should be used for a steel tubing boom crane?

    Hello, I am a retired electrical engineer who likes to tinker and invent. As I am getting older I find the moving of logs is getting harder to do, so I am thinking of building a boom crane to attach to the 3 pt hitch on one of my tractors. The design would basically be a class 3 lever, with a...
  43. J

    Stainless Steel track surface grade to match a 440C roller?

    I have a machine I am designing that has a carriage supported by Track rollers on a machined flatbar track. The load that each individual roller will experience could reach 2000lbs. worst case scenario. The track surface is machined 304L - 1" wide as you can see in the green in the attached...
  44. E

    Linear expansion of steel versus copper with increasing temperature

    Here I'm going to show all that I've understood - 1. 2. 3. What I've attempted - L = Lo (1+ α * ẟT) ẟT = 150°C - 15°C = 135°C (Steel) L = ẟL (1 + 11 * 10^-6 * 135) (Copper) L = ẟL (1 + 17 * 10^-6 * 135) This doesn't get me anywhere, obviously. Am I supposed to understand from the...
  45. C

    A500 steel tubing beam deflection

    Hello, I'm looking to construct a simple rectangular 13'x17' hollow steel frame over my patio, but I'm getting conflicting beam deflection calculations. I need to determine my beam size for my long spans of 17'. My plan was to use 3.5"OD A500 structural steel. 11 gauge (.120 in) wall...
  46. D

    Detecting coils inside steel cylinders

    Just some idle Sunday musings. I have a steel pipe that is 2" ID, 2.5" OD, 10' long. I want to place a coil inside the pipe midpoint along the pipe and detect it's presence with a transmitter / receiver array. The array can consist of two coils wrapped around the outside of the pipe and can be...
  47. Algr

    Guns, Germs, and Steel -- and Latin script?

    Since book printing is technology, I'm guessing that this discussion belongs here. Last week's episode of NOVA contained a section that reminded me of Jared Diamond's Guns Germs and Steel. (Even though it doesn't exactly fit in that title. - Type pieces were made of lead, tin, and antimony...
  48. K

    How to identify stainless steel?

    I know that stainless steel does not attract magnet, I know that stainless steel has appearance that looks like stainless steel, but sometimes it is quite difficult to tell. In addition to magnet test, any further test I can do in my home?
  49. B

    Heat dissipated by a steel disk

    Hi everyone This is a quick Q but I don't understand why I got it wrong This is what I have done Could anyone let me know where I went wrong? Thanks for any help!
  50. Spinnor

    Misc. Bending a spring steel rod to shape and heat treat, DIY?

    There used to be sold a style bicycle handlebar bags that used what I think is a formed spring steel rod that fit over the handlebars and looped under the handlebar stem that supported a handlebar bag. For whatever reason this style does not appear to be available any more. I think it is a...