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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. $$$

Bridgeport, CT  |  800-800-4422

With seven service center located between the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, Gibbs Interwire & Steel Co., LLC has you covered wherever you are. We are an ISO 9001:2015 Certified manufacturer and distributor of strip coil and wire. We offer our products in a wide range of metals, including stainless steel, carbon steel, nickel alloy, and red metals. Our wire can come sharpened, flat, round, spring, and square. We serve numerous industries, including automotive, consumer, medical, power, environmental, and chemical.

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Gibbs Interwire & Steel Co., LLC $$$

Bridgeport, CT  |  800-221-0340

In business since 1829, Bushwick Metals is a unique and accomplished manufacturer of stainless steel tubing. Approximately 750,000 square feet of warehouse space and round the clock loading and processing of material enables us to serve well a multitude of steel products users whose requirements demand prompt service. Visit our website or call Bushwick today – for the metal you need tomorrow.

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Bushwick Metals, Inc. $$$

Belmont, NH  |  800-654-6043

The level of customer service we provide at All Metals Industries continues to set the benchmark for excellence in our industry. Our innovative metal service center specializes in a full line of flat-rolled carbon products including HRP&O, cold rolled, galvanized, galvannealed, and aluminized steel in a wide range of gauges and sizes.

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All Metals Industries, Inc. $$$

Chicago, IL  |  800-323-8443

ISO 9001:2001 certified, Lapham-Hickey Steel Corporation is a top US steel service center. Unlike other companies, we are more than the strength of our steel; we were built on the strength of our relationships and partnerships with our customers. Our success is a result of our commitment. We are committed to meeting or exceeding customer expectations and increasing customer satisfaction.

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Lapham-Hickey Steel Corporation $$$
placeholder image Block Steel Corp. Gibbs Interwire & Steel Co., LLC Bushwick Metals, Inc. All Metals Industries, Inc. Lapham-Hickey Steel Corporation

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