Carbon Steel can be divided into three main categories: Low carbon steel (known as mild steel); Medium carbon steel; and High carbon steel.
Low Carbon Steel (Mild Steel):
- Typically composed of 0.04% to 0.30% carbon content; the low amount of carbon contributing to its high strength
- From Flat Sheet to Structural Beams- mild steel’s diversity of shapes is astounding
- Various elements can be added to create new properties for the steel. For the Carbon and Manganese content is enhanced for structural steel.
- Mild steel’s ductility is second to none. Mild steel bends and deforms under stress whereas higher carbon steels shatter or crack.
Mild steel is a specialized material for construction because of its high ductility. This means that it can be easily reshaped, which is not possible for harder steels. It is also easier to weld to itself and to other types of steel.
Medium Carbon Steel:
Typically has a carbon content varying from 0.31% to 0.60%, and a manganese content from .060% to 1.65%.
Stronger than low carbon steel, and more difficult to form, weld and cut. Medium carbon steels are often hardened and tempered using heat treatment.
High Carbon Steel:
High carbon steel has a carbon content between 0.61% and 1.50%.
It is very difficult to cut, bend and weld.
Once heat treated it becomes extremely hard and brittle, making it totally unsuitable for construction works