Carbon Steel (Mild Steel A1008)

January 5, 2024

A steel alloy that combines carbon and iron is called carbon steel (or industrial steel). The term "carbon steel" is often used to describe any steel that is not stainless, meaning that it can get stained. When no minimum content is specified or needed to achieve a desired alloying effect, steel is referred to as carbon steel, which can include alloy steels. The most common type of carbon steel is low carbon steel, which is very malleable and ductile. Medium carbon steel balances strength and ductility for excellent wear resistance. High carbon steel is incredibly strong, and ultra-high carbon steel can be tempered to even greater hardness but without flexibility.

Steel can be heat-treated to increase its hardness and strength by increasing the percentage of carbon in the steel. Heat treatment of carbon steel typically modifies its mechanical properties, such as ductility, hardness, strength, and impact resistance. Increasing the carbon content of carbon steel increases its hardness and strength but decreases its weldability, making it more brittle.

Carbon steel sheet metal is primarily used for structural applications, like buildings, but it can also be shaped into intricate designs. Low carbon steel sheet, also known as wrought iron, is commonly used for gates, fences, and chain links. Structural steel, also known as medium carbon steel, is used to make buildings, cars, refrigerators, washing machines, and bridges.

Stainless steel and aluminum do not have enough (or any) iron, cobalt, or nickel incorporated into the alloy to be magnetic. Carbon steel is likewise magnetic because it has a certain amount of iron that causes magnets to attach to it.