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Manganese In The Steel Industry

Manganese is a hard, brittle, silverish white metal derived from the Latin word 'magnes' which means magnet. Discovered in 1774, manganese is the fifth most abundant metal present on the Earth’s crust. 


The first alloy steel was created by Robert Hadfield in 1882 marking the birth of alloy steels. Manganalloy became a commercial success at the time due to its radically different characteristics from the widely used carbon steel.


Where is Manganese Used

Close to 90% of manganese consumption globally is accounted for by the steel industry. However, manganese can be used for a variety of applications. It’s commonly used for creating structural alloys, welding situations, within glazes and varnishes and as an oxidising agent (oxidation reduction). 


Manganese removes oxygen and sulfur when iron oxides are being converted into iron. It also is an essential alloy that is needed to convert iron into steel. 


Manganese is also seen in the battery manufacturing industry. Along with cobalt and lithium, manganese is used to create the cathode in lithium ion batteries. These batteries are commonly found within laptops, phones and even electric vehicles.

Why Manganese is Used in Steel

As an alloy, Manganese decreases the brittleness of steel and adds to its tensile strength. Only around  6 to 9 kilograms of Manganese is used per ton of steel. Right around 30 percent of that is used during the refinement of Iron ore. The other 70 percent is then used as an alloy within the final steel product.  


It can also be used as an alloy with other metals like copper and aluminum.


So What Is Manganese Steel?

Manganese as a natural element is extremely brittle and hard. When it is combined with steel, the material becomes very hard and durable. It loses its brittle nature and gains extreme wear resistance properties.


Manganese Steel is also known as Hadfield steel or mangalloy. 


Mangalloy is a steel alloy containing 12-14 percent manganese. It’s renowned for its high impact strength and resistance to abrasion when in it’s hardened state. 


The majority of steels and low-alloy steels rust in moist atmospheres depending on the manganese content. An increase in manganese has shown a positive effect on steel’s corrosion resistance. This is partly due to the adsorption of manganese ions in the alloy during the chemical reaction.

Is Manganese Steel Magnetic?

While manganese steel guarantees wear & work hardening properties, it is a non-magnetic metal. 


By itself, Manganese is a non-metallic metal. But when it is combined with aluminum, antimony and copper, the resulting alloy can become highly ferromagnetic. 


However, as a non-metallic metal, manganese is ideal for use in electrical transformer assemblies and for industrial lifting magnets.

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