The Metallurgy of Carbon Steel

A carbon steel with an ultra-high carbon content, commonly termed as “cast iron” exhibits great hardness and brittleness and is a steel ideal for major uses.

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Carbon steel is considered as a cast iron – a metal alloy which consists of carbon and iron. But other elements like manganese and carbon are also present upon the composition of the steel but they only do have little contributions to its properties.
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Carbon steel has earned such a big demand and an impeccable track record in the industry nowadays since it is available almost in all various compositions. Though it is highly intended in the various industrial applications, carbon steels are used particularly in heat exchangers and boilers.
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The Different Compositions of Carbon Steel

  • Mild Low Carbon Steels
    These steels are less strong but they are cheap and easy to shape. Their hardness is increased through carburizing. Heat treating cannot strengthen low carbon steels but is done through cold working. This type of carbon steels are weak and soft but they do possess excellent toughness and ductility. Moreover, they are weldable, machinable, and quite inexpensive for production.
  • Medium Carbon Steels
    These carbon steels have a balanced ductility and strength. They also have good wear resistance. Medium carbon steels are used for forging, large parts, and car parts. They are processed through heat-treated condition including quenching, austenizing, and tempering for that enhanced mechanical properties. Once the medium carbon steel is heat-treated, it can give off a tremendous load carrying ability.
  • High Carbon Steels
    These steels are very strong and they are often used in for high-strength wires and springs. Higher strength and hardness are obtained through an increasing number of carbon content. These steels tend to have economical approach for improving performance.
  • Very High Carbon Steels
    These carbon steels are already very strong. They are often intended and specially processed for the production of molecular and specific atomic microstructures.

Applications of Carbon Steel

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Carbon steel comes in a lot of applications and uses such as forging grades, spring steels (both round and flat rolled), wire rope, rail steels, tire reinforcement, wear resistant steels (plates and forgings), pre-stressed concrete, and high strength bars. There are common processes and implementation to charge and increase the performance through maximizing hardness and strength. The raising carbon level is one factor behind the increasing track record of carbon steel in large manufacturing industries and market sectors nowadays.
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Carbon steels run a widespread role in varying industries. They primarily used in crimping, bending, and swaging processes since they possess malleability, weldability, and machinability properties.
They are often mounted for tempered conditions and quenching. Carbon steel, often termed to as “cast iron”. They are hard and brittle and can easily be welded and tooled. Overall, carbon steels are used for casting since they do possess high carbon content that is known to lower melting point.