steel: composition, types and features of carbon steel


Steel might be the most popular alloy in this generation. You can find it everywhere; buildings, vehicles, industries, etc.

It is an alloy of iron and carbon.

Role of carbon 

The role of carbon is to provide strength to the iron.  An increase in the carbon content increases the strength and hardness of the alloy. On the other hand, this will reduce the ductility, weldability, and melting point. Carbon is a poor conductor of heat and electricity. So, adding carbon will reduce the electrical and thermal properties of the alloy. This decrease in the thermal property will make heating and cooling a slow process.

Types of steel

Based on the composition of the elements they are of four types

  1. Carbon
  2. Alloy
  3. Stainless 
  4. Tools

Types of  carbon steel

  • Low carbon: –  It consists of up to 0.25 percent of carbon. It is quite weak and soft but more ductile and wieldable.  Thus, it is used in making grills, railings, ladders, etc.
  • Medium carbon:- It consists of 0.25 to 0.6 percent of carbon content.
  • High carbon:- It consists of 0.6 to 1.5 percent of carbon. It is hard, tough, and non-ductile. So, it is used in making bolts, cutters, etc.

Features of carbon steel

  • Most abundantly found in the market
  • Cheap
  • Found in different shapes, sizes, and applications
  • Can rust quickly

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