High-strength low-alloy (HSLA) steel is made from carbon combined with trace alloying elements that increase its strength. This type of steel has a higher level of toughness and responds better to heat treatment than other types of steel. HSLA steel has an increased ability to resist corrosion.

The Manufacturing Process

HSLA steel is produced by mixing coal and iron ore in a furnace hot enough to melt these elements. Adding the alloying materials to the molten mixture in varying amounts will result in different grades of HSLA steel. The steel is purified and then solidifies in a rectangular shape.

Advantages of HSLA Steel

HSLA has several benefits compared to traditional carbon steel. The atoms in the alloying elements increase the hardness and strength of the steel by blocking movement in its microstructure.

These elements can include:

  • Vanadium
  • Nickel
  • Tungsten
  • Silicon
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum

Other elements are effective in increasing the steel’s resistance to corrosion. Chromium, copper, and nickel help prevent the formation of rust as well.

Grades of HSLA Steel

HSLA steel can be manufactured in many grades and used for diverse applications because of the range of alloying elements that can be added in different amounts. One common type is ASTM A36, which is general purpose HSLA steel primarily used for erecting structures. It’s popular because it is machinable, weldable, and affordable, with versatile mechanical uses.

Weathering steel is most often used in applications such as bridge construction where it will not be painted or coated. ASTM A242 and ASTM A588 are two frequently used types of weathering steel.

Oil and gas transmission pipelines often use HSLA steel. Many modern pipelines rely on API 5L Grade X70, with the number 70 referring to the minimum yield strength of 70,000 pounds per square inch. ASTM A573 is popular for petroleum storage tank construction.

Many other grades of HSLA are available for a range of engineering purposes, including steel that is easily weldable, resists abrasion, or is hardened by precipitation. The engineering project manager is charged with choosing the right type of steel for the specific job.

High-strength low-alloy steel is used in a variety of different fields for various items. If you’re in need of HSLA steel, look no further than Avion Alloys. As a NASA-approved vendor, we produce high quality materials for multiple industries. Contact us today for a free quote.

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