With so many uses for steel today, the steel industry has developed steels custom-made for specific properties and for particular applications. The American Society for Testing and Materials A216 steel is a medium carbon steel manufactured under a variety of trade names and most commonly used as a casting material for a variety of machine parts.
Like all steels, A216 is composed primarily of iron, but has a number of additional elements added to give the steel specific properties or increase certain mechanical properties. The steel contains carbon (.25 to .3 per cent), chromium (.5 per cent), nickel (.5 per cent), molybdenum (.2 per cent), copper (.3 per cent) and traces of impurities such as sulphur and phosphorous in very small quantities. Each of these elements lend specific properties. The carbon content is just high enough to allow heat treating and hardening. Chromium and nickel improve the steel's corrosion resistance but aren't present in high enough quantities to make it a stainless steel. Instead, the chromium and nickel increase the steel's toughness. Copper added to the steel increases the strength of the steel.
ASTM A216 has a tensile strength of 60 to 95 kilograms per square inch. Tensile strength is a measurement of the amount of stress or stretching a material can take before breaking. A216 has a yield strength of between 30 and 40 ksi, which measures the amount of pressure it takes for the steel to radically deform. The steel has an elongation of 22 to 24 per cent, which is the amount of stretch the steel can handle before breaking.
ASTM A216 is primarily used as a casting material. It is also used as a machine part for heavy equipment. However, A216's properties are not unique enough to require it in any industry, and many other steels with similar properties are used interchangeably.
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