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Carbon Steel

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While the American Iron and Steel Institute has a very strict definition of carbon steel and permissible content levels for additional elements, the term is more broadly applied to all iron and carbon steel alloys where the presence of other metals is minimal. Read More…

Carbon Steel Carbon steel is a metal alloy composed primarily of iron with carbon being the second largest component, imparting hardness and strength to varying degrees dependent upon the amount present.
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Leading Manufacturers

Skokie, IL  |  847-966-3000

Block Steel Corp, ISO/TS 16949 Certified, specializes in aluminized steel and is the country’s largest aluminized steel distributor. We also stock Aluminized Stainless, Hot Dipped Galvanized, and distribute tubing.

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Block Steel Corp. $$$

Bala Cynwyd, PA  |  800-355-0888

At Mainline Processing, we utilize our own facilities and equipment to meet our customers’ needs with an organized and growth-driven model. We stock large quantities of material in our inventory so that our customers can take advantage of purchasing opportunities where they can feel confident that they have the proper steel for the proper end use.

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Mainline Metals Inc. $$$

Birmingham, AL  |  800-462-2034

We are the nation’s largest family-owned metals service center. In business for 85 years, our steel service center is the source for all metal needs. Our structural steel includes many shapes such as steel tubing, along with cold rolled steel, tool steel, alloy steel, plate steel and carbon steel.

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O'Neal Steel, Inc. $$$

Grand Blanc, MI  |  888-273-8299

As a world-class source for steel products, King Steel Corporation supplies companies across North America with what they need to get the job done. For over 50 years, we have continued to invest a great amount of both time and capital into purchasing new equipment and streamlining our processes. We’ve worked diligently to develop and maintain a reputation in our industry that represents growth, professionalism, value, and prosperity for both our customers and suppliers.

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King Steel Corporation $$$

Houston, TX  |  800-749-4621

Cold Rolled Steel is a mill product made with a high degree of gauge accuracy and uniformity of physical characteristics. The smooth deoxidized matte finish gives an excellent base for paint, lacquer and enamel. Box annealing and absence of scale permit stamping and moderate drawing operations. Sheets bend flat on themselves without cracking. Our Cold Rolled sheet and coil conform to ASTM A1008.

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Curtis Steel Co., Ltd. $$$
placeholder image Block Steel Corp. Mainline Metals Inc. O'Neal Steel, Inc. King Steel Corporation Curtis Steel Co., Ltd.

In general, carbon steel is a very hard ferrous metal. As the carbon content varies, so do the properties of a specific alloy. Lower carbon amounts result in alloys with properties very similar to pure iron, but as the content raises hardness, corrosion resistance and strength are proportionately increased.

High levels of carbon, however, decrease ductility, temperature resistance, melting point and fabrication possibilities. Steel service centers provide this material for a number of industries including construction, architecture, marine superstructure, automotive, electronics, aerospace and power generation among others.

Steel Processing Equipment Carbon Steel - Block Steel Corp.

While some service centers provide finished products, many manufacturers purchase stock shapes such as bars, rods, tubes, plates, sheets, strips, foil, wire, billets, slabs and blooms. Additionally, ingots and powders are available for powder metallurgy applications. These stock materials are formed into a variety of finished products ranging from structural beams to automotive paneling.

Also referred to as plain carbon steel, the variability of this material leads to a general classification system allowing manufacturers to select the proper alloy for a given application. Mild or low carbon steel is the most common form as it is inexpensive and highly malleable. The low tensile strength of this 0.05% to 0.15% carbon alloy, however, can be undesirable in some applications.

Medium carbon steel has a carbon content of between 0.3% and 0.59%, providing a balance between strength and ductility. High carbon steel is composed of between 0.6% and 0.99% carbon, forgoing much of the ductility of iron in favor of high tensile strength. Ultra-high carbon steel contains approximately 1.0% to 2.0% carbon and is among the hardest metal alloys.

The material commonly referred to as cast iron is actually a very high carbon steel alloy. Higher carbon content lowers the melting point, allowing for more fabrication possibilities. These possibilities generally include casting, forging, spinning, slitting, shearing, coiling, coating and cutting. Heat treatments such as annealing, quenching, martempering and spheroidizing are often used to further manipulate the mechanical properties of a given alloy.

Case hardening is a common finishing technique as it hardens only the exterior of carbon steel, allowing a product to retain internal ductility but with a wear-resistant exterior case. In addition to finishing treatments, considerations for carbon steel include dimensions such as outer diameter, inner diameter, length and thickness, which, along with carbon content levels, help determine production possibilities.

Carbon Steel Informational Video