Carbon steel, also called plain carbon steel, is steel where the main alloying constituent is carbon. The AISI defines carbon steel as: "Steel is considered to be carbon steel when no minimum content is specified or required for chromium, cobalt, columbium [niobium], molybdenum, nickel, titanium, tungsten, vanadium or zirconium, or any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effect; when the specified minimum for copper does not exceed 0.40 per cent; or when the maximum content specified for any of the following elements does not exceed the percentages noted: manganese 1.65, silicon 0.60, copper 0.60."
Carbon Steel is available in 4 main grades that provide various properties of hardness, wear resistance and impact strength. A Low Carbon Steel has the lowest carbon contect, which makes it have less brittleness and more ducility and a good choice for foraging. A Medium Carbon Steel contains higher levels of carbon and manganese and is used for high wear foraged products. High Carbon Steel and Very High Carbon Steel, with the highest carbon content of the alloys, exhibit hardness and resiliency, but are brittle and require special processing when heat treating.
Due to its high strength and impact resistance, carbon steel is an ideal material for products in high stress and high wear applications. These Include:
- Automotive components, such as fenders, bodies, pans and transmission covers
- Carburized parts
- Machinery components
- Oil rig parts
- Mining equipment
- Gear blanks
- Railroad parts
They are used in the automotive, machine tool, oil and gas, mining, tool and die and machinery manufacturing industries.
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