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How Does Carbon Steel Differ from Alloy Steel?

carbon and alloy steel

Both steels produce carbon between 0.02% and 2.1%, so why is a steel type called carbon steel? The term carbon steel is primarily used to describe two different forms of steel namely carbon steel and low alloy steel. By comparison, alloy steel is a specific category of steel alloys engineered for corrosion resistance. We equate and contrast carbon steel vs Alloy steel in this article.

Alloy Steel

All has known of stainless steel for sure beforehand. It is the finest cookware stuff such as pots and saucepans. Any metal combination is called an alloy. Another example of an alloy that we are going to address today is an alloy steel. This is a type of steel combined with one or more of the following elements at different rates: manganese, iron, nickel, titanium, copper, chromium, and aluminium. The distinction between stainless steel and alloy steel is that alloy steel is composed of nickel and copper-like materials.

Manganese enhances steel at elevated temperatures, as it stops unnecessary product growth, particularly iron sulfide. Nickel and copper increase the steel’s strength and hardness, as well as retaining corrosion and oxidation resistance. Copper is used in extremely small quantities but it often improves the strength and tolerance to corrosion of the material. Aluminum prevents the formation and growth of certain impurities, such as austenite rocks. Chromium is a crucial alloying material that serves as an essential resistant to corrosion and wear & tear. This also allows steel to harden, as it responds strongly to heat treatments.

Alloy steel has two types: high & low alloy steel. Which depends on the alloying elements percentage; high alloy steel has a low percentage. Low-alloy steel typically comprises 1-5% alloy components, making it more suited for applications involving mechanical properties. And stainless steel is the most famous example of high alloy steel. Chromium rates differ, giving rise to different forms of stainless steel. There is at least 12 percent chromium, and in certain steels it can grow to 27 percent; depending on their application.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is another type of steel to be used in this piece. In this type of steel the main element is not iron, but carbon. The higher the carbon content, the faster you can harden the metal when heating it up. Small, medium, and high carbon steel are also available. In low carbon steel, the carbon content combined with 0.4 percent manganese does not reach 0.25 percent. It is the cheapest carbon steel and they can be used because they can be conveniently molded in many applications. Medium carbon steel consists of a fixed carbon content of 0.54 per cent and 1.65 per cent manganese. The higher carbon content makes this kind of steel heavier, as well as wear resistance. However, this diminishes their ability to form quickly. While high carbon steel has a carbon content of up to 0.9%.

This type of carbon steel is the hardest and most difficult to design, and is therefore only used where it is really required. Any of its applications include pipes, tubes, and knives. If you’re a lover of chemistry, you’d know that the various types of carbon are really solid. In addition, diamonds, the hardest substance on earth, are made of carbon. That may understand why, when carbon is combined with iron, it is enough alone with no additional elements to reinforce it.

Now that we’ve built up a strong carbon steel foundation, let’s dig into the distinctions between carbon steel and alloy steel. The composition is somewhat far from one another. Carbon steel is composed of carbon and iron up to 2.1 per cent. Any other ingredient present in this kind of steel is called impurity.

Yet alloy steel will not be alloy without incorporating the required elements to improve their properties. This makes the alloy steel more rust resistant, has better tensile strength and heaviness. The higher the quality of alloying materials, the longer the alloy steel is in use. At the other side, the higher the carbon content, the tougher the steel is and the less functional. Nonetheless, in the quality group, carbon steel scores two. Carbon steel is comparatively cheaper, especially considering the lower carbon content. Alloy steel can get very costly because of the additional alloy elements and their quantity.

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How Does Carbon Steel Differ from Alloy Steel?

by Piping Mart time to read: 3 min