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Steel is common called carbon steel because of the mixture of carbon atoms with iron atoms. The added elements provide the steel with ductility and strength. During the smelting process, other elements, such as aluminum is added to the steel making it an alloy steel. Non-alloy steel has no elements added to the steel as it is smelted.
The manufacturing of steel is done by placing ore in a furnace a smelting the ore. The smelting process removes any impurities in the iron ore. Once the first smelting process is performed, the steel still has too much carbon content to become non-alloy steel. The smelting process is performed again and again until the carbon content in the ore falls below 1.5 percent of the total content.
The smelting process melts the iron ore. By melting the ore, the extraction of elements and impurities can be accomplished. The manufacturer only wants the iron and a small amount of carbon from the ore to make non-alloy steel. During the smelting process, elements get added to the ore such as cobalt, copper and aluminum, which makes the steel an alloy steel. Non-alloy steel has no other elements added to the iron and carbon during the smelting process.
The non-alloy steel must be tempered at a certain temperature because it does not use other elements to make it flexible and durable. Tempering non-alloy steel at a certain temperature make the steel more sensitive to cracking when being welded.
Non-alloy steel can be used for different applications. Steel bars used to strengthen concrete is a non-alloy steel. Wrought iron is another non-alloy steel because it has little to no carbon within the iron ore. The wrought iron is soft and easily workable into different shapes but has very little strength. Non-alloy steel is often used to make decorative metal gates and fences.
Gerald Elliott published his first article in 1980 in the "Stanford Daily" newspaper. Since 1988, Elliott has written and edited articles for the "Los Angeles Times," the "San Diego Union Tribune" and Ingenuity Design Solutions. Elliott received his Bachelor of Arts with a major in literature in 1970 from Stanford University.