Carbon Steel

Carbon Steel

Source International – Manufacturing Materials – Learning Center

Carbon Steel

Carbon Steel is steel in which the main alloying component is carbon, typically in the range of 0.12 – 2.0%. It should be noted most of the steel produced in the world falls under this category. The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) defines this material as:

Steel is considered to be Carbon Steel when no minimum content is specified or required for CR, CO, MB, NI, TI, TU, VN, or ZR, or any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effect; when the specified minimum for copper does not exceed 0.40 percent; or when the maximum content specified for any of the following elements does not exceed the percentages noted: MN – 1.65%; SI – 0.60%, or CU – 0.60%.

As the percentage of carbon in the steel increases, the steel has the ability to become harder and stronger through heat treating. Heat treating the steel reduces ductility of the material. The higher the carbon content the lower the melting point and the harder to weld.

It is categorized into three main types: Low-carbon, medium-carbon, and high-carbon steel. Low- and medium-carbon steel varieties are more malleable and ductile than their high-carbon counterparts.

Some of this versatile material’s many applications include:

  • Fences, gates, railings, etc.
  • Chain links
  • Structural steel for buildings and ships
  • Parts inside appliances and automobiles
  • Springs
  • High-strength wires
  • Industrial cutting tools, punches, and dies
  • Cast iron pots
  • Lamp posts
  • Hot water radiators

The lowest carbon varieties are generally referred to as wrought iron, while the ultra high carbon varieties are referred to as cast iron.


Whatever your Carbon Steel manufacturing needs may be, Source International can assist you from initial Product Development to First Production to In-process Quality Control to Shipping. Contact us today to find out how we can help you save time and money while increasing overall efficiency and product quality.


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Posted on

July 13, 2016