DS Pipe and Steel Supply

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is a type of steel primarily consisting of iron and carbon, with trace amounts of other elements. It is one of the most widely used and versatile materials in various industries due to its favorable mechanical properties, relatively low cost, and ease of manufacturing. The carbon content in carbon steel typically ranges from 0.05% to 2.0%.

The presence of carbon in the steel enhances its strength and rigidity, making it suitable for a wide range of applications. Carbon steel can be further classified into three main categories based on carbon content: low carbon steel (up to 0.25% carbon), medium carbon steel (0.25% to 0.60% carbon), and high carbon steel (0.60% to 2.0% carbon). Each category has distinct properties and uses.

The applications for carbon steel are almost limitless. Every industry, from automotive to consumer goods, uses a carbon steel part in some form or another. Some notable examples of the applications of carbon steel are:

  • Shafts
  • Cables
  • Structural members
  • Wire
  • Ball bearings
  • Shipbuilding
  • Piping
  • Springs
  • Pressure vessels
  • Pulleys
  • Gears

Carbon steel is one of the most widely used steels due to a variety of advantages, such as:

  • Low Cost: Carbon steel consists of low-cost iron and carbon, making carbon steel significantly cheaper than alloy steel. Alloy steel makes use of more expensive elements like nickel and chrome. 
  • Heat Treatable: Medium and high-carbon steels can significantly improve their properties through various heat treatment regimens. Heat treatment can increase ultimate tensile strength, wear resistance, ductility, or hardness.
  • Weldability: Carbon steels, especially low-carbon steel, are readily weldable. Weldability can be further improved by using lower carbon grades and following appropriate procedures (preheating, stress relief heat treatment, etc.) for welded steel grade.