What are the four main types of steel?

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What is Carbon Steel? 

Carbon Steel is a metal alloy, meaning it contains two elements, iron and carbon. Carbon Steel can be broken up into three subtypes, low, medium, and high carbon steel. By appearance, carbon steels can have a matte-like or dull finish and can be segregated into three subtypes: Low, Medium, and High.

 What is a Low Carbon Steel? 

Low carbon steel is also known as mild steel because of its low tensile strength, hardness, and higher softness.

Typical applications for low-carbon steel include automobile doors, appliances, steel beams, and structural shapes.

What is the Carbon Percentage is Low Carbon Steel? 

  • Low carbon steel has a percentage of 0.05 - .29 % carbon.
  • Some examples of low carbon steels are US ASTM A36, SAE AISI 1008, 1012, 1015, 1018, 1020, 1022, 1025, 1029.

What is a Medium Carbon Steel? 

Medium Carbon Steel is stronger than low carbon steel, making it more difficult to weld, form, and cut. Common Medium Carbon Steel grades are US ASTM SAE AISI 1030, 1034, 1035, 1038, 1040, 1042, 1043, 1045, 1050, 1055. Contact Alliance Steel and talk about inventory today.

What is the Carbon Percentage is Medium Carbon Steel? 

  • Medium Carbon Steel has a percentage of .31 - .60 % and includes a manganese content ranging from .060 to 1.65%.  
  • Did you know Medium Carbon Steel is often hardened and tempered using a heat treatment? The steel is heated over 1600 degrees – Fahrenheit and then quenched or rapidly cooled using water. Then, the steel is reheated to about 700 degrees Fahrenheit and then left to air cool. This process leaves the steel with increased hardness and other mechanical properties.
  •  

In what applications is Medium Carbon Steel used? 

Medium Carbon steel is often used in applications where high strength, moving parts are needed, such as air compressors, pistons, heavy machinery shafts, gears, crankshafts, and other transportation and tool parts.

What is a High Carbon Steel? 

High Carbon Steel offers the greatest strength and hardness over its counterparts, low and medium carbon steel. However, the steel is less ductile due to the higher carbon rate, meaning harder to machine, cut, and weld. High Carbon Steel can also be heat treated; however, this process makes the steel extremely hard and brittle.

What is the carbon Percentage in High Carbon Steel?

  • High Carbon Steel has a carbon percentage of .61 – 1.50%.
  • Common Grades include US ASTM SAE AISI 1059, 1060, 1065, 1070, 1075, 1080 and continuing.
  • On the Rockwell Hardness Scale C, high carbon steel can range from 60-65 HRC.

In what applications is High Carbon Steel Used? 

High Carbon Steel is generally used in applications like springs, cutting tools, punches, knives, and dies.

What is Alloy Steel? 

Alloy steel is steel that is comprised of carbon and elements like copper, titanium, nickel, and aluminum.

 These elements are added in increased properties like:

  • Ductility
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Strength

What Are Some Applications of Alloy Steel?

Alloy steels are used in OCTG (oil country and tubular goods, infrastructures like power generation and transformers, big agriculture, automotive, railways and mining, and defense.

What are the types of Alloy Steel?

 High Alloy Steel.

The most common high alloy steel is stainless steel; it contains at least 12% chromium. High alloys steels are defined by the percentage amount of alloying elements.

Low Alloy Steel. 

Low alloys steels have a much lower percentage of alloying elements. Depending on the added alloys, strength, welding capabilities, and corrosion resistance may vary.

 Contact a sales representative to learn more about low alloy steel today.

What is High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA Steel)? 

High Strength Low Alloy or HSLA Steel is a strong, formable grade of steel. These are made to meet a specific mechanical property. Niobium (NB/CB), Vanadium (V), Titanium (TI) are added to create an HSLA.

HSLA Applications: 

 

HSLA Grades

C

Mn

P

S

Al

Si

Cu

Ni

Cr

Mo

V

Cb

Ti

N

45C1

0.22

1.35

0.04

0.04

   

0.2

0.2

0.15

0.06

0.005

0.005

0.005

 

45C2

0.15

1.35

0.04

0.04

   

0.2

0.2

0.15

0.06

0.005

0.005

0.005

 

50C1

0.23

1.35

0.04

0.04

   

0.2

0.2

0.15

0.06

0.005

0.005

0.005

 

50C2 & 55C2

0.15

1.35

0.04

0.04

   

0.2

0.2

0.15

0.06

0.005

0.005

0.005

 

55C1

0.25

1.35

0.04

0.04

   

0.2

0.2

0.15

0.06

0.005

0.005

0.005

 

60C1 & 65C1

0.26

1.5

0.04

0.04

   

0.2

0.2

0.15

0.06

0.005

0.005

0.005

 

60C2 & 65C2

0.15

1.5

0.04

0.04

   

0.2

0.2

0.15

0.06

0.005

0.005

0.005

 

70C1

0.26

1.65

0.04

0.04

   

0.2

0.2

0.15

0.16

0.005

0.005

0.005

 

70C2

0.15

1.65

0.04

0.04

   

0.2

0.2

0.15

0.16

0.005

0.005

0.005

 

 Here at Alliance Steel, we offer Grades 45,50,60,70, and 80.

 

What applications is HSLA used? 

HSLA steels are used for infrastructures like bridges and cranes and modes of transportation like cars and trucks.

 What Is Tool Steel?

Did you know that tool steel is made of 75% mill and purchased scrap? Tool steel is often used in fabrication shops to make tools, drill bits, dies, and knives. This material is also known for its hardness, thermal properties, and resistance to abrasion and erosion.

Types of Tool Steels: 

There are five groups of tool steel. 

  • Water – Hardening
  • Cold – Working
    • Oil – hardening (O Grades)
    • Air – Hardening (A Grades)
    • D- Grades
  • Shock- Resisting
  • High – Speed
  • Hot – Working

What is Water – Hardening Steel

Water – Hardening or W- Grades are water quenched. This steel grade contains low-cost, high-carbon steels that are susceptible to cracking and other forms of fragility.

What is the most common Water – Hardening Steel Applications?

  • Knives
  • Drills
  • Razor Blades
  • Lathe Tools

What is Cold Working Steel?

Cold Working Steels can be broken down into three subcategories. These are Air - Hardening (A- Grades), Oil – Hardening (O- Grades), and D – Grades.

Air – Hardening: 

Air – Hardening or A – Grades have a higher chromium content which results in better responses to heat treatment and machinability.

Air hardening steel is best used in applications for:

  • Dies
  • Lathes Centers
  • Chipper Knives

Oil – Hardening: 

Oil – Hardening or O- Grades is often referred to as general-purpose steel, meaning extremely versatile. O - Grades have high wear resistance due to the amount of carbon that is resistant at high temperatures.

Oil – Hardening teel is best used in applications for: 

  • Dies
  • Machinery components
  • Gauges

D – Grades 

D – Grade tool steel is air-hardening, high carbon, and high chromium steel. This grade of tool steel has excellent abrasion resistance and maximum toughness.

D – Grade steel is best used in applications for:

  • Rolling dies
  • Shear blades
  • Slitters

What is Shock – Resisting Steel?

Shock Resisting Steel or S- grades are the most substantial grade of tool steel. S- grades contain Silicon, small amounts of Carbon, Tungsten, Chromium, and Manganese. S- Grade tool steels have high strength and toughness, hardness, wear resistance, and resistance to shock.

What are Shock – Resisting Steel applications?

  • Screw Drivers
  • Chisels
  • Driver Bits

What is High–Speed Steel?

High-Speed Steels or HSS are known and used to cut through material at high speeds. There are two classifications of alloying elements, Tungsten and Molybdenum.

What are High-Speed Steel Applications?

  • Drill bits
  • Power Saw Blades
  • Power Saw Blades

What is Hot Working Steel?

Hot Working Steel or H – Grades is ideal in applications that require wear resistance and toughness at elevated temperatures. H – Grades are divided into three groups, Chromium Type, Tungsten Type, and Molybdenum Type.

What are Hot Working Steel Applications? 

  • Hammer Forging Dies
  • Hot Stamping
  • Hot Drawing

What is Stainless Steel?

Stainless Steel is an alloy of chromium and iron and is known for its exceptional corrosion resistance and high strength at an affordable price. The Chromium content in Stainless Steel is at least 10.5% and a vital element in production. In addition, other elements like nickel, silicon, nitrogen, and carbon are added to improve the steel's capabilities and properties.  

Alliance Steel can supply an extensive assortment of stainless-steel products to meet customer needs, including 300 and 400 series products. Our value-added service capabilities for stainless steel sheet and coil include slitting, shearing, stretcher leveling, blanking, and metallurgical support.

How is stainless steel used?

Stainless Steel is used in a variety of consumer and industrial markets.

  • Aerospace
  • Defense
  • Medical
  • Appliances

Alliance Steel is a top flat-rolled steel supplier, coil processor, and material distributor dedicated to supporting various manufacturing needs across many industrial sectors. We have been a leader in flat-roll steel supply and coil processing leader for over 20 years.

In May of 2020, we relocated to Gary, Indiana, strategically placing ourselves near significant highways, mills, and ports. There are also two additional sales locations in the Mid- South (Atlanta and Memphis).

Our temperature-controlled 300,000 square foot facility is equipped with full rail service, multiple slitters, including a heavy-gauge line, numerous fiber lasers, multi–blanking, cut to length, stretcher leveling, and metallurgical capabilities.

Alliance Steel is prepared to support your steel needs with an extensive inventory of flat-rolled sheet and coil products. We maintain a selection of hot rolled steel, hot rolled pickled and oiled, hot rolled pickled dry, cold-rolled steel, motor lam, all coated products steel products. For more information, please call 219-427-5400 or send us a contact form.