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Steel and stainless steel: An overview
作者:管理员    发布于:2011-05-21 00:34:05    文字:【】【】【
Steel is not an element. It is actually an alloy, meaning, it comes from two different materials melted together. Steel s main component is iron with some carbon added as a hardening agent. Iron itself has been used since 4000 B.C., long before the complex processes of smelting and reshaping were established. Steel came about much later, around 1200 B.C. Smiths all throughout Fertile Crescent noticed that iron that is repeatedly melted and re-forged becomes stronger and higher in quality than before. Because of the presence of carbon monoxide in the fire, iron became steel little by little.
Stainless steel is also composed of iron and carbon, but a layer of chromium is added for increased rust resistance and sheen. The layer of chromium forms on the surface of the steel. Since it is so thin, it is invisible to the naked eye, but it leaves its trademark luster on the surface of the steel. When it comes in contact with air, this layer forms a scratch and rust-resistant skin called chromium oxide.
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