What metal is used along with carbon to make steel?


Quick Answer

Iron is the only metal required to make steel. However, other metals are often added to create steel alloys, which add other desirable characteristics to the steel.

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Full Answer

Iron is strong, but it is brittle and susceptible to corrosion. To make steel, the carbon content of iron needs to be reduced to between 0.5 to 1.5 percent carbon, and most of the impurities need to be removed. This makes the metal stronger and more durable.

The most common steel alloy, stainless steel, is created by adding about 10.5 percent chromium. Stainless steel is more immune to corrosion and rust than iron or regular steel. Other metals, such as nickel or molybdenum, are also often added to steel to improve strength and malleability for the various applications of steel.

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