Carbon Steel

What is Carbon Steel used for?

Carbon Steel is commonly used for shipbuilding, wire, vehicle bodies and domestic appliances.

How much carbon goes in the steel?

  1. Low-carbon steel contains a maximum of 0.3% carbon
  2. Medium-carbon steel contains 0.3% to 0.6% carbon
  3. High-carbon steel contains 0.6% to 1% carbon

Low-carbon steel is strong and tough but doesn’t temper easily. It’s the most popular type we sell, with a relatively low price and a plethora of applications. It’s both malleable and ductile, has a comparatively low tensile strength, and the hardness of the metal’s surface can be improved by carburising, a heat treatment process. It’s easier to cold-form and handle than other grades.

Higher-carbon steels are happy under heat treatment. But they don’t like trace impurities, which can dramatically affect the quality of the metal. Sulphur is the biggest culprit, making the steel brittle and crumbly when worked.

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Technical information

Technical fact: The properties of carbon steels.

Low carbon steel is also called mild steel and comes in the widest choice of shapes, everything from flat sheets to structural beams.

Medium carbon steel is stronger than low carbon and trickier to form, weld and cut. It’s often hardened and tempered with heat treatment.

High carbon steel is also called carbon tool steel, and is very difficult to cut, bend and weld. When heat treated it becomes very hard and extremely brittle.

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Our range of premium quality materials include corrosion-resistant, high-temperature super alloys, titanium, stainless steel and copper based alloys.
Materials like HAYNES® Alloy, HASTELLOY® Alloy, ULTIMET® Alloy, MONEL® Alloy, INCONEL® Alloy, INCOLOY® Alloy and many more.

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