Steel is an alloy that is made up of iron and other ores mixed together. Those other ores can include carbon, nickel, and molybdenum. Steel is used for many things in this world, and there are several kinds of steel out there to be used.
These steels don't have many other metals in them other than carbon and iron. This carbon can be broken down into high, medium, and low carbon steels. Each of them have their own benefits. For example, higher carbon amounts will make the steel stronger and harder. It also allows for the steel to be hardened better. One use for high carbon steel is to use it as a knife blade that needs to stay sharp and take the use and abuse that comes with a lot of chopping. The problem with a higher carbon content is that it can cause the metal to be more brittle, so it has to be a careful balancing act between making sure that there's enough carbon to get the necessary hardness but not so much that the metal is so brittle that it will fail under stress.
Tool steels have higher contents of metals like tungsten and cobalt. That makes them more heat resistant and more durable. Because of those things, tool steel is used for things like drill bits, saw blades, and other similar tools. The steel is able to last for a long time without the heat generated from the friction of the tool being used destroying or weakening the temper of the steel. These steels are generally labeled with four numbers, which can show things like how much carbon is in the steel, what other alloying metals are used in it, and what the main alloy is. So, 4140 steel means that it's a chromium-molybdenum steel with a higher percentage of molybdenum, and .4 percent of carbon in the entire make up.
This steel has a high rate of chromium as an alloying agent. That makes this steel more resistant to corrosion, which is why it generally used in places like pipes and food processing materials. Stainless steel is also used in a lot of medical equipment.
Steel has many uses and comes in many forms. Each form of steel has its own particular properties and its own particular uses. It's important to know what the different kinds of steel are and what they are used for.
For more information on different kinds of steel and their uses, talk to a steel distributor near you.