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Homework Help: Effect of Carbon Content in Steel

  1. Jan 31, 2007 #1
    The effect of carbon content on the Mechanical Properties of Steel?

    Am I right in thinking carbon content is normally between 0.02% and 1.7% with more carbon making the steel stronger and more brittle?

    I wanted to find out the basic chemistry behind this, Presumably it's to do with the way carbon bonds with the iron during production.

    Is it therefore possible for steels of the same carbon content to have differing properties if the carbon is added in different ways?

    :confused: Haven't studyed past GCSE Chemistry so no answer will be to simple.

  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 31, 2007 #2


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    See this discussion - Carbon hardening agent in Iron and metal alloys

    It provides answers to some of the questions, and there are links to articles on steels.

    Carbon forms carbides with Fe and other alloying elements, e.g. Cr, Nb, Ti, . . . .

    Yes - a lot has to do with the microstructure and distribution of carbon and phases of the Fe-C system, which are affected by thermomechanical treatment, as well as the various alloying elements.
  4. Sep 18, 2008 #3
    So much to do with the interstitials voids (mostly carbon interstitials stuck inside the tetrahedral or octahedral voids in BCC or FCC structure) betw the Fe-atoms for properties variation.
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