What Elements Make up Stainless Steel?

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According to U.K. metals stockholder Aalco, stainless steel production includes the alloying of iron with carbon, manganese, chromium, nickel, molybdenum, nitrogen, copper, titanium, phosphorus, sulphur, selenium, niobium, silicon, cobalt and calcium. Alloying additions depend on the steel's grade and composition.

Aalco explains that the various alloying additions serve varying purposes. Alloying iron with carbon is essential to manufacturing steel. The alloying addition of manganese serves to increase the strength of the stainless steel. The source also discusses the important role the alloying addition of chromium makes. Chromium typically constitutes 11 or 12 percent of stainless steel, serving as protection against damage from oxidation.