ThePipingMart Blog Metals Properties of Medium Carbon Steel

Properties of Medium Carbon Steel

The Properties of Medium Carbon Steel

Medium carbon steel is a ferrous alloy comprised of both iron and carbon. It has a higher carbon content than low-carbon steel but less than that of high-carbon steel, making it an ideal material for many engineering applications. But what exactly are the properties of medium carbon steel? Let’s take a closer look.

Composition and Percentage of Carbon in Medium Carbon Steel

Medium carbon steel typically contains 0.3 to 0.5 percent carbon by weight, while its manganese content ranges from 0.60 to 1.65 percent by weight. Other elements included in the alloy are silicon, phosphorous, sulfur, and sometimes vanadium and molybdenum. As with all steels, the exact composition will vary depending on the manufacturer’s specifications and desired properties for the final product.


The microstructure of medium carbon steel consists mainly of pearlite and some ferrite or martensite, depending on the heat treatment used during manufacturing. The microstructure forms when iron atoms combine with other elements (such as carbon) during cooling after hot working or casting processes. The microstructure affects many physical properties such as ductility, strength and hardness of medium carbon steel.

Examples and Yield Strength

Applications for medium carbon steel include automotive parts such as crankshafts and gears; cutting tools such as drills and screwdrivers; knife blades; springs; axles; shafts; bolts; hand tools like hammers; pipe fittings; railroad fastenings like spikes; turbine blades in jet engines; axles on trains and ships; mining equipment including crushers and conveyors; rail car components like wheelsets and couplers; valves for oil wells, etc. When heat treated correctly, this type of steel can reach yield strengths between 40-100 ksi (275-690 MPa).


From its composition to its microstructure to its applications, there is much to learn about medium carbon steels—and much that makes them so valuable for various engineering projects across multiple industries! With their diverse applications come versatile properties that make them an excellent choice for many different types of products—including those requiring high yield strength or other specific requirements when appropriately processed according to manufacturer guidelines. Whether you need an axle for a train or turbine blades for a jet engine, medium carbon steels have you covered!

Related Post