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Steel is made by adding carbon to iron, producing a solid solution defined by its crystalline structure. This chapter discusses the effect of carbon composition and temperature on the types of structures, or phases, that form. Using detailed phase diagrams, it explains how low-carbon (hypoeutectoid) and high-carbon (hypereutectoid) steels are made, how they are classified, and how they compare. It also describes eutectoid steels which, at 0.77 wt% C, form a separate class noted for its microstructure.

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