Alloy steels are essentially plain-carbon steels to which small percentages of alloying elements such as chromium and vanadium have been added. The effect of these additional elements is to modify considerably the steels' properties and to make them more suitable for specific applications than are the plain-carbon steels. The two widely used alloy steels are
(a) chrome-vanadium steel—this steel has less tendency to set than the plain-carbon steels;
(b) silicon-manganese steel—a cheaper and rather more easily available material than chrome-vanadium steel, though the physical properties of both steels are almost equivalent.
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