Steel is a metallic alloy made primarily from iron and carbon, with small amounts of other elements such as manganese, nickel and boron. The properties of steel can be modified through various heat treatment processes and the addition of different alloying elements. Steel is known for its strength, durability and versatility, and is used in a wide range of applications, including; construction, transportation, machinery and appliances.
The raw material for steel is iron ore and/or recycled steel scrap. The molten iron, which is produced in a blast furnace (BF) or electric arc furnace (EAF), is purified in a converter. The required alloying elements are added in the secondary metallurgy. Finally, the steel is cast into slabs, which are then rolled and heat treated. Before delivery, the material can be leveled, blasted, galvanized, metal and color coated.
Tensile testing is one of the best-known tests for steel and can be defined by standard EN 10002. Controlled displacement is applied on a standard specimen. The relation between load and elongation is recorded and used to determine a number of material properties, e.g. yield strength and tensile strength.
Yield strength is the maximum stress level that steel can withstand before plastic deformation occurs. Above this stress level, steel will no longer return to its initial dimensions or shape. Ultimate tensile strength is the stress level where the load is at a maximum during tensile testing and using the original cross section area.
The stress-strain curve for steel shows the relationship between applied load and elongation during tensile testing. It is used to determine mechanical properties of the material, including modulus of elasticity, yield strength, and ultimate tensile strength. The load values are transformed into stress values and the elongation is transformed into strain, resulting in a curve that provides important information on how the material behaves under different loading conditions.
Stiffness is the ability of the material to resist elastic deformation, which is closely related to the modulus of elasticity. Strength is the ability to resist plastic deformation or failure. The stiffness and load carrying capacity of a real structure (e.g. a car body) are also determined by its geometry.
An isotropic material exhibits uniform properties in all directions. For most engineering aspects, steels are isotropic but there are some exceptions. For further details, please contact SSAB Technical Support.
All steels become brittle at some low temperature, and they will lose their mechanical properties at some elevated temperature. The limiting temperatures are steel grade specific. Most SSAB steels are suitable for working at a temperature range of about -40 to +200⁰C. Contact SSAB Technical Support.
In the tempering process, a previously hardened steel is usually heated to a temperature (based on the required properties) below the lower critical temperature (A1, ~700⁰C) and cooled at a suitable rate, primarily to increase ductility and toughness, and to relieve quenching stresses. SSAB does not generally recommend tempering. For further details, please contact SSAB Technical Support.
Annealing is a generic term for a treatment consisting of heating the steel to and maintaining it at a proper temperature (usually above A1), followed by cooling at a suitable rate (based on the type of annealing). This treatment is performed to primarily soften the steel. SSAB does not generally recommend annealing. For further details, please contact SSAB Technical Support.
A residual element in steel is an element not wanted, but cannot be eliminate in the steel-making process. An element can be an intentional alloying element in one grade and residual element in another grade. In general, the residual elements are coming from the input raw materials as iron ore or recycled steel scrap. The content of the unwanted residual elements in SSAB plates is always lower than the critical levels.
The information in this report is only applicable to SSAB’s products and should not be applied to any other products than original SSAB products.