Steel is basically an alloy metal that consists of iron, carbon, and other elements. Carbon is an important commercial steel alloy. By increasing the carbon content can increase the hardness and strength level. There are different types of steel available in the market, each of them has its own unique characteristics and different components inside of it. In this article, we will focus on the characteristics and application of Carbon Steel which is a preferred choice over other types of steel. As per its name suggested, carbon steel has a higher level of carbon in comparison with other types of steel. It consists of the carbon content of up to approximately 2.5% whereas other steels may consist only 0.05% to 0.3%. Carbon steel normally also contains manganese for not exceeding 1.65%, copper 0.6%, and silicon 0.6%. Carbon steel is widely used as construction material, automotive components, tools, and many more in our daily life. It can be formed into custom shapes and plates under a heat-treated procedure, the toughness and tensile strength also can be preserved under the entire heating treatment process. There are several advantages of choosing carbon steel over other types of steel. It has increased strength which makes them suitable to be used in where strength is needed. However, carbon steel will still break if under a certain level of pressure and stress. Carbon steel can be classified into three categories according to its level of carbon content, which is low carbon steel, medium carbon steel, and high carbon steel.
Low-carbon steel is the most widely used type of carbon steel, it has only consisted of the carbon content of less than 0.25% which offers the lowest hardness, highest ductility, and weldability among these three categories. It is relatively low cost when working with the low-carbon steel. To be noted that the lower carbon steel content steel can not be heat-treated as it may have serious implications on the mechanical properties of the steel alloy. Mild steel is considered one type of carbon steel as it has a lower content of carbon which is around 0.05% to 0.309%. Low-carbon steel Malaysia is widely used as automobile component, pipelines, gates, fences, or other structural applications such as I-beam, angle, channel, or pipe to be used in the construction industry. In addition, mild steel is also the most common metal to be used for DIY or any other home improvement projects due to its malleability, lighter weight, and lower cost.
Medium-carbon steel consists of the carbon content of from 0.25% up to 0.60%, and also contain manganese content of 0.60% to around 1.65%. Medium-carbon steel provides a medium level of strength and ductility. Other alloying elements such as nickel, chromium, molybdenum can be added to increase its hardness and steels ability. Due to the higher strength and wear resistance found in the medium-carbon steel, it is often used for gears, machinery parts, or even railway tracks and train wheels.
Whereas, the high-carbon steel consists of the carbon content of around 0.60% to 1.25% and manganese content of 0.30% to 0.90% which can offer very high strength, hardness but the lowest ductility and machinability within these three categories. Tool steel and die steels are types of high-carbon steel that contain other alloying elements such as molybdenum, chromium, tungsten, and vanadium. The additional elements have made it to have superior wear-resistant features and can be used as springs, cutting tools, and high strength wire or dies. Due to its high level of carbon content, it is difficult to cut, weld and so is the most expensive of the carbon steel types.
We can also find some disadvantages to using carbon steel over other types of steel. For example, Medium to high-carbon steel is not easy to work with as it is strong and difficult to bend or melt it into other shapes that required. However, A post-treated with sulfur can offer greater machinability to the high-carbon steel and made them easier to work with while maintaining the highest level of strength. Unlike the stainless steel which has consisted of 10% of chromium to act as a protection to prevent it from rusting, carbon steel does not contain any chromium which makes it easy to get rusted when exposed to a moisture environment for a long period of time. The issue of low corrosion resistance can be avoided via a process calls ‘carburization’ which helps to harden the exterior of the carbon steel by migrating the carbon to the surface of the carbon steel. The changes in the spread of carbon throughout the steel component will result in a wear resistance skin with a tough core. As we know the gas and petrochemical sectors are one of the biggest users of the carbon steel, which is mainly used for the manufacturing of carbon steel pipework and also pressure vessels due to its high weldability into complex and round shape. The process of carburization will be required to harden the exterior of the carbon steel in order to protect against the corrosion affected by weather or other external factors.
In conclusion, carbon steel is widely used in different industries and applications. It is easy and relatively cheap to make carbon steel. But in order to achieve a better result such as greater machinability, wear, and corrosive resistance, adding other alloying materials or undergoing post-treatments are required and these will incur additional costs. MecHero supplies a variety of carbon steel and other steel products in Malaysia. We offer steel in different grades, sizes, and thicknesses. You can always contact us at +6011-7001 7687 or email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the inquiry. Tell us your requirements now about the carbon steel or steel product you're looking for and we can advise you accordingly.