We often buy different types of steel products from stores available in the market without any particular knowledge of the quality of its steel. When it comes to the categorization of steel, it can be categorized into various type according to the chemical compositions and properties which can be physical, chemical and environmental. The top four steel that is relevant and useful among people are Carbon, Alloy, Stainless, and Tool Steel. The steel is made up of iron and carbon, and the amount of alloy in the steels determines the properties of each grade of steel.
Besides the chemical composition, steel can also be categorized depending on various other factors, which are as follows:
• Composition which includes carbon, alloy, stainless.
• The method of production which are electric cast, and others.
• The method of finishing like cold rolled, hot rolled, etc.
• The shape, form, and size of steel- bar, rod, tube, etc.
• The process of de-oxidation
• Physical Strength
• Heat Treatment
• Commercial and Drawing Qualities
There are usually two methods to number the steels, and these methods are used by almost all the steel manufacturers around the world, including, Arch City Steel in Missouri. The numbering system was developed by The American Iron and Steel Institute, and secondly by Society of Automotive Engineers. The numbering system is based on four-digit codes after identifying the carbon base and alloy steels in the products.
Let’s dig deeper into the four major types of steel in the world.
It is one of the major types of steel which is further divided into three different kinds:
1. Low Carbon Steel or Mild Steel is the type of steel which contains 0.04 to 0.30% of carbon. It covers diversified shapes of steel from flat sheet to rods depending on the need or requirement of the consumers. Depending upon the required properties, the elements are either added or removed.
2. Medium Carbon Steel is the type of steel which has a carbon range of 0.03 to 0.60%, and it is stronger than the first in the category of carbon steel. Medium carbon steel is often difficult to weld, cut, and form into diversified shapes and sizes.
3. High Carbon Steel is the type of steel with a carbon range of 0.61 to 1.50%, and it is commonly known as carbon tool steel. On heat treating, it becomes hard and brittle and is extremely difficult to cut, bend, form, or weld.
Alloy steel is a type of steel which is composed of a variety of elements from 1 to 50 % by weight to improve the mechanical properties. Alloy Steel can be divided into two types: low alloy steel and high alloy steel. It is said that every steel alloys, but not every steel is alloy steel. The name alloy steel is kept after the alloys in the composition of the steel. The most common alloys are manganese, nickel, silicon, chromium, vanadium, and boron. The least common are aluminium, copper, titanium, zinc, and lead.
It is one of a type of steel with increased corrosion resistance as compared to the other two types of steel. The most common alloys found in stainless steel are chromium, nickel, and molybdenum. This steel is available widely around the world and in a variety of shapes like bar stock, beam, angle, channel, etc. It can be transformed into any exact specifications of shape or size according to the requirement. Stainless Steel is majorly found in the use of making medical instruments, hardware, appliances, structural, architectural purpose, and food handling and processing.
It is one of the hardest and abrasion resistance type of steel. It can be referred to the variety of carbon and alloy steel which is specifically designed to be used in the creation of tools. Tool steels are used in shaping other materials. The carbon content in tool steel varies from 0.01% to 1.5%. The four major elements in tool steel are tungsten, chromium, vanadium, and molybdenum. It is generally used for cutting, pressing, shaping, and coining of metals and other materials. Tool steel is one of the essential materials for creating other materials. It is one of the common materials used to make knives. Tool Steel is also available in a variety of shapes and sizes that includes, round bar, flat bar, square bar, and more.
In today’s article, we have discussed the four type of steels. These were the four major types of steel that are available around the globe and that too, in multiple forms and shapes. The chemical proportions, carbon components, and alloys are some of the major entities that you should keep in mind while purchasing steel products from stores or make anything out of it.