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Properties of Boron Steel

Boron is added to steel to increase strength, decrease cracking and lower the possibility of distortion. You must add this metal alloy within the proper conditions or your finished product will not come out as you intended. When it is produced properly, boron steel is very strong and durable.

Boron

Boron steel is found in some automobile parts.

Boron is a chemical element and is considered to be a metalloid. It has an atomic number of 5 and is symbolized on the atomic chart with a "B." Boron is not a naturally occurring element and is found only in minerals that contain small amounts of boron. Purified boron is found in the form of a brown powdered amorphous boron and a very hard black crystalline boron. The crystalline boron is what is added to steel to make it stronger. In the crystalline state, it has a rating of 9.5 on the Mohs scale.

Steel

Steel is composed of mostly iron and with 0.2 to 2.1 percent carbon content. If the carbon content goes above the 2.1 percent range, it is called cast iron. Steel is known for its resistance to rust and the ability to be welded. If you add alloying elements to steel, it makes it harder and stronger than regular iron.

Production

Boron is added to steel through a specific heating procedure. When boron is added, it must be in its atomic state to do so. For the best results, use fully oxidized, lower carbon steels to get the strength you want. When adding boron to steel, only use a small amount. The average range is 0.0005 to 0.003 percent of boron.

Factors

Oxygen, carbon and nitrogen are all influencing factors. If these are used improperly or they become unstable in the metal you adding boron to, you will not get the hardening effect you are seeking. If you have the wrong temperature during the process, it will become inactive and will also not give you the desired result. If you heat above 1,830 degrees Fahrenheit (1,000 Celsius), you will not achieve the desired strength.

Application

Boron steel is used for structural pieces of buildings, parts of automobiles and in certain tools. You will find punch tools, spades, cutlery and saw blades made of this material.