Low Alloy Steel Testing

In 5-10 Seconds with a Bruker XRF Steel Tester Gun!

Low Alloy Steel TesterThe low alloy steels are defined as steels with under 10% combined C, Mn, Cr, Ni, Mo, B, V, and Si alloy content. Low alloy steel testing for elemental composition mostly revolves around quantifying these. Send Bruker Inc. a message right now to find out how our advanced and trusty portable XRF tester machines can solve your industry’s analytical needs!

The alloyants mentioned above improve strength and hardness in the low alloy steels compared to the carbon steels and even to stainless steels (so long as temperature remains well under 400° C). Low alloy steels serve as construction materials in chemical, petrochemical, and electrical energy plants and have a range of applications in process pressure vessels, load-bearing structures, in car parts, low-cost aerospace parts, tubing, and low-cost cutting tools. A special category of low alloy steels is Chrome-moly or Chromoly (Cr/Mo Steels). These steels, labeled 41** in the AISI / SAE classification,are 1-9% Cr and 0.5-1% Mo. They are used to great effect in the petrochemical and electrical energy sectors for their good creep and high temperature resistance.

When it comes to steel scrap, low alloy scrap is usually not such a hot commodity because the concentration of valuable metals in it is low: the value distinctions between different alloy steel grades are small, while steel mills have exigent requirements concerning scrap composition since the quality of the output depends on that of the raw material. Base steel grades are more compatible with the presence of “tramp” elements, but making special steel grades purely out of alloy steel scrap requires careful sorting and preparation of the metal. Get in touch with Bruker Inc. now to learn how our handheld XRF instruments can simplify your alloy steel analysis tasks.

Copper and tin are usually found only in old scrap, where they can be present either pure or in combination with steel parts. Chromium, nickel, and molybdenum cannot be verified visually, thus requiring an accurate composition test. Here are the penalty amount limits on tramp elements that can cause low alloy steel scrap to be depreciated.

Tramp Element Limits for Low Alloy Steel Testing

Testing Low Alloy Steels for “Trace” and “Tramp” Impurities

The presence of undesirable but persistent “tramp elements” tends to strengthen and harden steel, with a corresponding loss in malleability. For instance, Mo and Cr in an extra-low-carbon steel will up its resistance to hot deformation, necessitating greater rolling loads. The presence of Sn and As will negatively influence recrystallization kinetics during annealing of some cold-rolled steel grades and require an increase in annealing temperature. Cu, often present at 0.2% or above, tends to cause surface defects by scaling and cracking. Ni, when present in an equal quantity, can reduce Cu’s effect, but Sn and As will increase it. For example, when as little as 0.05% of Sn is added to a steel containing 0.22% copper, this the tendency toward cracking. Moreover, tramp inclusions also affect downstream steel processing and resulting steel properties, sometimes causing grain-boundary embrittlement even in low alloy structural steels, which may express itself variously as cracking caused by stress, stress-relief or fatigue, creep rupture, and so on. The list of troubles caused by impurities does not end here, and they can be aggravated by heat treatment in steel processing.

Metallurgy has developed various complex ways for dealing with the issues caused by tramp impurities. Those methods depend in each case on knowing exactly which of the relevant elements are present, which returns us to our subject of effective low alloy steel testing with a Bruker analyzer. Please message Bruker Inc. today to address your analytical needs and questions!

If you have found this information helpful, have a look at the related article on carbon steel testing, as well as our stainless steel testing as well as general steel testing info.

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