Alloying elements and scrap

More information and interesting links on the alloying elements like carbon, chromium, nickel, molybdenum, manganese, ... 

The elements

The different alloying elements in stainless steel can be combined in different proportions to create a range of grades that are suitable for almost any application.

Download as a pdf
Alloying elements in stainless steels and other chromium-containing alloys

This brochure summarises the characteristics of the principal alloying elements used in stainless steels and discusses their role as alloying elements. It covers Chromium, Nickel, Molybdenum, Niobium, Titanium, Manganese, Silicon and Nitrogen.

Download the brochure here

Chromium is introduced into irons, steels and many superalloys by alloying with the intermediate product, ferrochromium. This is produced by the pyrometallurgical reduction of chromite ore with carbon and/or silicon in high temperature electric arc furnaces.

Ferrochromium is essentially an alloy of iron and chromium which may intentionally contain substantial levels of carbon and silicon.

For the video on chrome by the International Chromium Development Association - click here

For more information by the Minerals Education Coalition - click here


Nickel is a naturally-occurring metallic element with a silvery-white, shiny appearance. It is the fifth-most common element on earth and occurs extensively in the earth’s crust and core. Nickel, along with iron, is also a common element in meteorites and can even be found in small quantities in plants, animals and seawater.

For more detailed information by the Nickel Institute - click here

For the video on Nickel by the Nickel Institute - click here

For more information by the Minerals Education Coalition - click here


Molybdenum is a metallic element which is most frequently used as an alloying addition in alloy and stainless steels. Its alloying versatility is unmatched because its addition enhances strength, hardenability, weldability, toughness, elevated temperature strength and corrosion resistance.

For more detailed information by the International Molybdenum Association - click here

For more information by the Minerals Education Coalition - click here

Global stainless steel manufacturing and scrap cycle

The use of stainless steel has been characterized for 51 countries and the world for the years 2000 and 2005. We find that the global stainless steel flow-into-use increased by more than 30% in that 5 year period, as did additions to in-use stocks. This growth was mainly driven by China, which accounted for almost half of the global growth in stainless steel crude production and which tripled its flow into use between 2000 and 2005. The global stainless steel-specific end-of-life recycling rate increased from 66% (2000) to 70% (2005); the landfilling rate was 22% for both years, and 9% (2000) to 12% (2005) was lost into recycled carbon and alloy steels. Within just 5 years, China passed such traditionally strong stainless steel producers and users as Japan, USA, Germany, and South Korea to become the dominant player of the stainless steel industry. However, China did not produce any significant stainless steel end-of-life flows in 2000 or 2005 because its products-in-use are still too new to require replacements. Major Chinese discard flows are expected to begin between 2015 and 2020.

(Reck et al. 2010. Global stainless steel cycle exemplifies China's rise to metal dominance. Environmental Science & Technology 44 (10): 3940-3946)

Source: Center for Industrial Ecology, Yale University

Request a copy from Research Gate
International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF)
Avenue de Tervueren 270
1150 Brussels, Belgium
T: +32 2 702 89 00
Follow us on:
Designed by