Metal & Steel

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, and sometimes other elements. Because of its high tensile strength and low cost, it is a major component used in buildingsinfrastructuretoolsshipsautomobilesmachinesappliances, and weapons.

Iron is the base metal of steel. Iron is able to take on two crystalline forms (allotropic forms), body centered cubic and face centered cubic, depending on its temperature. In the body-centered cubic arrangement, there is an iron atom in the center and eight atoms at the vertices of each cubic unit cell; in the face-centered cubic, there is one atom at the center of each of the six faces of the cubic unit cell and eight atoms at its vertices. It is the interaction of the allotropes of iron with the alloying elements, primarily carbon, that gives steel and cast iron their range of unique properties.

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