The Types of Steel

Steel is a major component in buildings and tools. It is an alloy mixture containing iron and carbon that binds together into a reliable, sold product that is perfect for using in building everything from skyscrapers to home appliances. The versatility of steel allows for it to cross industries and enter our homes in different forms. You might have asked yourself, “what is steel made of?”. Well, you are about to find out.

What are the Four Types of Steel?

There are four types of steel that appear in all kinds of items. They have similar characteristics, but different properties that make them the best steel to use when dealing with differences in weather, water, or handling chemicals. Of the thirty-five hundred types of steel, they fall into four main categories, which each divide down into different levels of chemical composition.

1. Carbon Steel

Carbon steel represents 90% of all steel production.

The types of carbon steel produced divide up into three ranges of steel based on the number of elements in the mixture.

Low Carbon Steel

Low Carbon Steel contains up to 0.30 percent of carbon. Low carbon steel becomes multiple panels and beams with varying levels of the same chemical composition. If the mixture contains aluminum, the percentage of coal will be lower. If more manganese is in steel, the carbon percentage level is higher.

Low carbon steel, the most common form of steel, is wrought iron steel. It is considered hardy, but also decorative and becomes anything form fencing to decorative lamp posts. The steel is durable though it does not have the refined look of steel with a broader mixture of chemical content.

Medium Carbon Steel

Medium carbon steel is anywhere from 0.31 percent up to 60 percent carbon. A higher range of manganese is present as well in a variety of 0.060 percent up to 1.65 percent. The carbon steel produced is more durable, though more challenging to work with by cutting or welding it. The mixture most often requires heat to work with it and temper it into the ideal shape.

High Carbon Steel

High Carbon Steel “carbon tool steel, has a range of carbon of 0.61 percent up to 1.50 percent. The product is tough to work with, and to bend, cutting, or welding, and it requires extreme heat. The final fired product is robust but very brittle to use.

Very High Carbon Steel

Very high carbon steel is steel with up to two percent carbon. Often called, cast iron, the steel is some of the hardest ever made. Very high carbon steel becomes some types of work tools like unches, but also knives and other specialty items. Very high carbon steel does not have chromium in its chemical mixtures, so it does corrode faster than different types of steel.

2. Alloy Steel

Different types of alloy steel contain trace amounts of elements other than carbon and manganese. The other elements include nickel, silicon, titanium, chromium, copper as well as aluminum. The variety of elements helps create some of the most reliable and most durable steel across the industry. The steel produced is economical to produce, refine, and shape for most products.

3. Stainless Steel

Stainless steel comes with a resistance to corrosion through mixing the right combination of elements. Different types of stainless steel come with at least eleven percent chromium, molybdenum, or nickel. The mixture up to thirty percent is the most common for the products manufactured. Stainless steel appears on a lot of cooking utensils, medical instruments, and in architecture.

4. Tool Steel

Types of tool steel harden with different comes to become tools. The mixture that makes up tool steel is resistant to breaking and bending and is abrasion resistant, which makes it perfect for shaping other items or doing a lot of work where you don’t want to break tools or bend them.

Tool steel becomes molds, dies, and hammers for use across industries. It also becomes knives because it can hold a sharp edge better than other types of steel.

Here are some tips in choosing the correct tool steel.

Main Industries that Use Steel

You can find steel everywhere from inside of homes to appliances.

Steel in Building and infrastructure

Most steel manufactured becomes part of buildings. Reinforced bars that become beams and structural supports help skyscrapers climb high; they also find their way into apartment buildings and homes to help support the weight that becomes the final support structure. In addition, to support, steel becomes the ducts inside the buildings and HVAC systems.

The steel used in each type of project is a different type with a different purpose. Some types are load-bearing others help control heating and cooling of the buildings. While still, other kinds become necessary or decorative outer pieces such as railings, bars, or rails.

Steel in Mechanical Equipment

The mechanical equipment used to build the buildings, homes, and infrastructures also uses a large amount of steel produced. Cranes, hand tools, car parts, and other pieces become the main tools in industry for production.

STEEL In Automotive

The automotive industries use steel to create the protective frame your vehicle is sitting on. Steel also becomes a lot of the critical moving components in the engine and the suspension of a vehicle.

STEEL In General products

Many major appliances and tools used in and around your home are steel, such as your oven, your Crockpot, maybe even your favorite cooking pans. Your hairdryer and parts of your computer are stainless steel, which makes it one of the most flexible metals you can enjoy.

Related article: Medical Steels and their Critical Role in Biomedical Operations

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