Alloys steel

Alloy steel is steel that is alloyed with a variety of elements in total amounts between 1.0% and 50% by weight to improve its mechanical properties. Alloy steels are broken down arbitrarily: Smith and Hashami define the difference at 4.0%, while Degarmo, et al., define it at 8.0%. Most commonly, the phrase “alloy steel” refers to low-alloy steels. Strictly speaking, every steel is an alloy, but not all steels are called “alloy steels”. The simplest steels are iron (Fe) alloyed with carbon (C) (about 0.1% to 1%, depending on type). However, the term “alloy steel” is the standard term referring to steels with other alloying elements added deliberately in addition to the carbon. Common alloyants include manganese (the most common one), nickel, chromium, molybdenum, vanadium, silicon, and boron. Less common alloyants include aluminium, cobalt, copper, cerium, niobium, titanium, tungsten, tin, zinc, lead, and zirconium. The following is a range of improved properties in alloy steels (as compared to carbon steels): strength, hardness, toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, hardenability, and hot hardness. To achieve some of these improved properties the metal may require heat treating. Some of these find uses in exotic and highly-demanding applications, such as in the turbine blades of jet engines, in spacecraft, and in nuclear reactors. Because of the ferromagnetic properties of iron, some steel alloys find important applications where their responses to magnetism are very important, including in electric motors and in transformers.

There are four types of carbon steel based on the amount of carbon present in the alloy. Lower carbon steels are softer and more easily formed, and steels with a higher carbon content are harder and stronger, but less ductile, and they become more difficult to machine and weld. Below are the properties of the grades of carbon steel we supply:

Low Carbon Steel

Composition of 0.05%-0.25% carbon and up to 0.4% manganese. Also known as mild steel, it is a low-cost material that is easy to shape. While not as hard as higher-carbon steels, carburizing can increase its surface hardness.

Medium Carbon Steel

 Composition of 0.29%-0.54% carbon, with 0.60%-1.65% manganese. Medium carbon steel is ductile and strong, with long-wearing properties.

High Carbon Steel

Composition of 0.55%-0.95% carbon, with 0.30%-0.90% manganese. It is very strong and holds shape memory well, making it ideal for springs and wire.

Very High Carbon Steel

Composition of 0.96%-2.1% carbon. Its high carbon content makes it an extremely strong material. Due to its brittleness, this grade requires special handling.