: The Working Of Steel

Vanadium has a very marked effect upon alloy steels rich in chromium,

carbon, or manganese. Vanadium itself, when combined with steel very

low in carbon, is not so noticeably beneficial as in the same carbon

steel higher in manganese, but if a small quantity of chromium

is added, then the vanadium has a very marked effect in increasing

the impact strength of the alloy. It would seem that vanadium has

the effect of inte
sifying the action of chromium and manganese, or

that vanadium is intensified by the action of chromium or manganese.

Vanadium has the peculiar property of readily entering into solution

with ferrite. If vanadium contained is considerable it also combines

with the carbon, forming carbides. The ductility of carbon-vanadium

steels is therefore increased, likewise the ductility of chrome-vanadium


The full effect of vanadium is not felt unless the temperatures to

which the steel is heated for hardening are raised considerably.

It is therefore necessary that a certain amount of soaking takes

place, so as to get the necessary equalization. This is true of all

alloys which contain complex carbides, i.e., compounds of carbon,

iron and one or more elements.

Chrome-vanadium steels also are highly favored for case hardening.

When used under alternating stresses it appears to have superior

endurance. It would appear that the intensification of the properties

due to chromium and manganese in the alloy steel accounts for this

peculiar phenomenon.

Vanadium is also a very excellent scavenger for either removing

the harmful gases, or causing them to enter into solution with the

metal in such a way as to largely obviate their harmful effects.

Chrome-vanadium steels have been claimed, by many steel manufacturers

and users, to be preferable to nickel-chrome steels. While not

wishing to pass judgment on this, it should be borne in mind that

the chrome-vanadium steel, which is tested, is generally compared

with a very low nickel-chromium alloy steel (the price factor entering

into the situation), but equally good results can be obtained by

nickel-chromium steels of suitable analysis.

Where price is the leading factor, there are many cases where a

stronger steel can be obtained from the chrome and vanadium than

the nickel-chrome. It will be safe to say that each of these two

systems of alloys have their own particular fields and chrome-vanadium

steel should not be regarded as the sole solution for all problems,

neither should nickel-chromium.