Carbon steel, often known as plain-carbon steel, is a kind of metal alloy. It is made up of two elements: iron and carbon. Other elements are present in trace amounts that have no effect on their characteristics. Manganese (1.65 percent maximum), silicon (0.60 percent maximum), and copper are the only additional components permitted in plain-carbon steel (0.60 percent max).
Iron is one of the most common elements on earth. In fact, it is almost exactly half of our planet's total mass. The other half is oxygen, but since iron makes up more than 99.9 percent of all terrestrial material, it is only necessary to consider this element here.
In its natural state, iron is a solid with a crystal structure. But like many other elements, it is much more reactive when used as a gas at room temperature. So manufacturers react iron with carbon to form steel, which is a term that describes any metal that is stronger than iron.
By controlling the amount of carbon added to plain-carbon steel, manufacturers can change its strength from mild for use around people's homes to heavy for industrial applications. Plain-carbon steel is the most common type of steel used by homeowners to build fences, gates, and roofs because it is easy to work with and not too hard on human bodies or the environment. It also has some antimicrobial properties due to the presence of carbon.
Carbon steel is a metal alloy created by the combination of iron and carbon. When the amounts of other trace elements in steel do not surpass particular percentages, it is termed carbon steel. Manganese has a maximum percentage of 1.65 percent and copper and silicon have a maximum percentage of 0.6 percent. Additional carbon increases hardness and toughness while manganese, copper, and silicon increase strength.
Alloying elements are added to steel to improve its properties or make it more suitable for certain applications. For example, stainless steel is simply steel that is designed to resist corrosion. Corrosion resistance is improved by adding chromium (23% by weight) or nickel (7% by weight). Aerospace steel must be strong yet light weight. In this case, aluminum is used to reduce the weight of the aircraft.
There are four main types of carbon steels: plain carbon steel, stainless steel, heat-treated carbon steel, and high-strength carbon steel.
Plain carbon steel is the most common type of steel and the one you probably have in your home. It is made up of only iron and carbon and is available in a wide range of qualities from softening agents such as phosphorous and sulfur to high-quality steels that can withstand high temperatures. The quality of plain carbon steel is determined by its carbon content. Lower-carbon steel contains less than 0.4% carbon; higher-carbon steel contains between 0.45% and 1.
Carbon steels are a class of carbon and iron alloys that include up to around 1% carbon and 1.65% Mn, with components added in precise amounts for deoxidization and residual amounts of other elements. They are among the strongest steel materials available, comparable in strength to high-carbon stainless steel.
Because carbon is a strong absorber of hydrogen, these alloys can contain small but significant amounts without losing their strength. Hydrogen is used because it reduces iron's tendency to form brittle carbides, which would weaken the material. Carbon also increases the hardness and stiffness of the metal, allowing for better use in tools where high toughness is required.
All steel contains carbon, however the phrase "carbon steel" refers to steel that has carbon as the primary alloying ingredient. Medium carbon steel is carbon steel with a carbon content of 0.30 to 0.60 percent. It is used primarily for cutting, welding, and other industrial applications where high strength and hardness are required.
There are two main types of medium carbon steel: plain carbon steel and stainless steel. Plain carbon steel is simply carbon steel without any additional ingredients. Stainless steel consists of chromium and iron with small amounts of nickel, manganese, or both added to prevent corrosion. It's important to distinguish between these two types of medium carbon steel because they have different properties that determine how they can be used. For example, you would not use stainless steel for cutting because it doesn't hold an edge very well.
Medium carbon steel has a maximum yield strength of 80-100 ksi (560-740 MPa), which is much lower than that of tool steels and brass. However, because it has sufficient ductility for shaping, it is commonly used in tools and appliances that require some degree of formability.
The term "carbon steel" may also refer to low carbon steel. Low carbon steel contains less than 0.20 percent carbon. This type of steel has limited use as it lacks sufficient strength for many applications.