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Carbon steel stockholders

Carbon steel properties

Carbon steel is an iron-carbon alloy which contains up to 2.1 % carbon by weight. For carbon steels, there is no minimum specified content of other alloying elements, however, they often contain manganese, silicon and copper. The maximum content of these three elements should be less than 1.65%, 0.6% and 0.6% by weight, respectively.

As the carbon percentage content rises, steel hardens and strengthens through heat treatment (whilst becoming less ductile). Regardless of the heat treatment, The higher carbon percentage content in carbon steel lowers the melting point and thus reduces weldability.

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Carbon steel grades available in bright and/or black bar

High Peak Steels stock an extensive range of carbon steel, ensuring we can fulfil orders on short lead times and maintain our enviable reputation for over 95% of orders delivered in full and on time.

Steel grades listed are available in either bright or black bar in square, round, flat and hexagonal cross section.

Carbon steel - common questions

What are the different classes of carbon steel?

Typically carbon steel is classified in to low (mild), medium and high carbon steel subject to the level of carbon present.

  • Low-carbon steel = <0.25 wt.% carbon content
    Low hardness and low cost. Highly ductile, good machinability and weldability
  • Medium-carbon steel =  0.25 – 0.6 wt.% carbon content
    Medium hardenability, ductility and strength
  • High-carbon steel = 0.6 to 1.25wt.% carbon content
    High hardness and strength, low ductility and machinability

What are the benefits of carbon steel?

Carbon steel delivers increased strength and is less likely to stress under pressure compared to traditional steel. Carbon steel is therefore suited to applications where high strength is paramount including construction tools, automotive parts and aerospace components.

It should be noted that increased strength also comes with relatively low weldability and ductility making carbon steel difficult to work with. Carbon steel is also more susceptible to corrosion and so is not suited to applications where the steel is exposed to the elements.

Is carbon steel resistant to corrosion?

Carbon steel is a ferrous metal containing iron so when exposed to oxygen or water will rust – if your application requires resistance to corrosion then opt for galvanised or consider powder coating for added protection.

Carbon steel vs Alloy steel

  • Composition

    Carbon steel is composed primarily of iron and carbon, with small amounts of other elements, while alloy steel contains additional elements such as chromium, nickel, and manganese.

  • Properties

    Carbon steel is known for its strength and durability, while alloy steel is valued for its enhanced properties such as higher strength, hardness, and resistance to corrosion.

  • Uses

    Carbon steel is used in a wide range of applications such as construction, automotive, and manufacturing industries, while alloy steel is commonly used in applications where additional strength and durability are required, such as in aerospace, defence, and oil and gas industries.

  • Price

    Carbon steel is generally less expensive than alloy steel due to its simpler composition and lower production costs.

  • Machinability

    Carbon steel is easier to machine and work with compared to alloy steel, which can be more difficult due to its higher strength and hardness.

  • Weldability

    Carbon steel is generally easier to weld than alloy steel, which may require special techniques and equipment to achieve a quality weld.

230M07 / EN1A Carbon steel

230M07 | EN1A is a free cutting steel which is suitable for high production use in both automatic machines and CNC lathes. High Peak Steels recommend 230M07 for precision machined components.

Applications, chemical compositions and mechanicals 230M07 / EN1A steel

230M07 steel enquiry

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230M07PB / EN1APB Carbon steel

230M07PB | EN1APB is a non alloyed free cutting steel with added PB (Lead) which is suitable for applications where good machinability is the prime consideration.

Applications, chemical compositions and mechanicals 230M07PB / EN1APB steel

230M07 PB steel enquiry

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070M20 / EN3A Carbon steel

070M20 | EN3A is a general engineering steel, suitable in applications where heavy stresses and heat treatment are not involved, such as welded and riveted structures, forgings, machined parts and hot pressing.

Applications, chemical compositions and mechanicals 070M20 / EN3A steel

070M20 steel enquiry

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080A15 / EN3B Carbon steel

080A15 | EN3B is a general engineering steel, suitable in applications where heavy stresses and heat treatment are not involved.

Applications, chemical compositions and mechanicals 080A15 / EN3B steel

080M40 / EN8 Carbon steel

080M40 | EN8 is a medium carbon steel which is used in applications where better properties than mild steel are required, at a lower cost than an alloy, making this an excellent alternative to alloy.

Applications, chemical compositions and mechanicals 080M40 / EN8 steel

080M40 steel enquiry

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080A42 / EN8 Carbon steel

080A42 | EN8 steel is an unalloyed carbon steel with reasonable tensile strength. Heat treating this engineering steel provides a good surface hardness.

Applications, chemical compositions and mechanicals 080A42 / EN8 steel

080A42 steel enquiry

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212A42 / EN8DM Carbon steel

212A42 | EN8DM is a bright drawn medium carbon semi-free cutting steel, suitable for repetition machining, good for induction hardening.

Applications, chemical compositions and mechanicals 212A42 / EN8DM steel

212A42 steel enquiry

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070M55 / EN9 Carbon steel

070M55 | EN9 steel is a medium carbon steel with good tensile strength. It possesses good wear resistance, but poor weldability.

Applications, chemical compositions and mechanicals 070M55 / EN9 steel

070M55 steel enquiry

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150M19 / EN14A Carbon steel

150M19 | EN14A  is a low carbon manganese steel which is weldable and has good impact resistance. EN14A machines like mild steel.

Applications, chemical compositions and mechanicals 150M19 / EN14A steel

150M19 steel enquiry

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Should you not see the grade or format of carbon steel you require, or if you're looking for advice on which steel grade to choose, talk to one of our advisors on 01457 866911 Or get in touch via our contact page