What is Carbon Steel?

Carbon steel is incredibly versatile, and its applications and qualities vary depending on its carbon concentration. As carbon content increases, the steel becomes stronger and tougher. But it becomes less ductile, brittle, and more difficult to weld.

The higher the carbon content, the lower the melting point of steel. Carbon steel is further split into four groups based on carbon content: low/mild, medium, and high.

Carbon Steel Types

Low-carbon steel, often known as mild steel, is one of the most popular types of steel. It is a form of steel that contains a small amount of carbon, typically between 0.05% and 0.3%. Its lower carbon content makes it more tensile and ductile than other types of steel.

It is useful for applications where accuracy is critical due to its increased flexibility. It is less prone to corrosion than other types of steel because it contains less carbon. 

Medium carbon steel contains carbon in the range of 0.3-0.6%. It is commonly used in tempered conditions, with a tempered martensite microstructure. It strikes a balance between strength and ductility while also providing outstanding wear resistance.

It is mostly used for machine components, axles, shafts, gears, couplings, forgings, and other components that require a high level of strength, toughness, and wear resistance.

High Carbon Steel: It contains a carbon content of 0.55% or more, which is the highest carbon ratio. It is the least ductile and the most hard, robust, and wear-resistant. It is a common fastener choice, but it may also be utilized in a variety of industries, including automotive, manufacturing, and construction, as well as toys and appliances.

Carbon Steel Application

Nowadays, carbon steel accounts for 90% of steel manufacturing. The building industry consumes almost a quarter of the world’s steel for manufacturers. Because it is prone to corrosion, it must be galvanized before being used outside. Higher carbon content improves durability, heat dispersion, and malleability by decreasing the melting point. It is typically used for the following applications:

Automobile elements

Blade and cutter

Device and machinery

Steel Wire

Structural steel material

Density of carbon steel grades

Carbon Steel Grade (AISI)Carbon Steel TypeDensity, kg/m³Density, g/cm³Density, Ib/ft³
  Low Carbon Steel7,8507.85490
1005 1006 1008 1010 1011 1012 1013 1015 1016 1017 10181019 1020 1021 1022 1023 1025 1026 1110 1117 1118  Medium Carbon Steel7,8307.83489
1055 1059 1060 1064 1065 1069 1070 1074 1075 1078 1080 10841085 1086 1090 1095 1137 1139 1140 1141 1144 1145 1146 1151High Carbon Steel7,8107.81488