Category: ALLOYS AND THEIR EFFECT UPON STEEL
Molybdenum steels have been made commercially for twenty-five years,
but they have not been widely exploited until since the war. Very
large resources of molybdenum have been developed in America, and
the mining companies who are equipped to produce the metal are
very active in advertising the advantages of molybdenum steels.
It was early found that 1 part molybdenum was the equivalent of from
2 to 2-1/2 parts of tungsten in tool steels, and magnet steels. It
fell into disrepute as an alloy for high-speed tool steel, however,
because it was found that the molybdenum was driven out of the
surface of the tool during forging and heat treating.
Within the last few years it has been found that the presence of
less than 1 per cent of molybdenum greatly enhances certain properties
of heat-treated carbon and alloy steels used for automobiles and
In general, molybdenum when added to an alloy steel, increases the
figure for reduction of area, which is considered a good measure
of toughness. Molybdenum steels are also relatively insensible
to variations in heat treatment; that is to say, a
chromium-nickel-molybdenum steel after quenching in oil from 1,450 deg.F.
may be drawn at any temperature between 900 and 1,100 deg.F. with
substantially the same result (static tensile properties and hardness).