Carbon Steel: What Makes It Ideal for Manufacturing Industrial Products

What makes carbon steel one of the most widely used metals and what makes it ideal for the manufacture of industrial products? In a nutshell, this material is perfect for a wide range of applications primarily because it can be customized to fit individual needs. By simply adjusting its carbon content, its physical and mechanical characteristics can easily be modified to meet the requirements of the end-user industrialproductmarketing.

Properties and Applications of the Different Types of Carbon Steel

This material can be categorized according to its carbon content. As such, it can be classified as either mild, low, medium, high and ultra-high carbon steel.


This type of carbon steel contains the least amount of carbon (0.05 to 0.15%) and is definitely the most inexpensive among the lot. Like all the other types, low carbon steel contains manganese, phosphorus and sulfur. It also contains perlite (a naturally occurring non-crystalline solid volcanic glass) and ferrite (an iron alloy). Its soft and ductile nature contributes to its excellent formability and weldability. Owing to its unique properties, it is most commonly used in the manufacture of home appliances, tin plates and car body panels.


With 0.16 to 0.29% carbon content, this material exhibits excellent malleability but has a relatively low tensile strength. If needed, its surface hardness can be enhanced through carburizing, a heat treatment process by which the carbon content on the surface of the metal is increased to further harden the material. This material is commonly used in construction and for industrial and commercial fabrication as well.


This type of steel contains about 0.30 to 0.59% carbon and is quite ductile, durable and strong. It is also resistant to wear and tear and is best used in the manufacture of automotive parts and large metal structures. Medium carbon steel is most commonly used in the manufacture of axles, gears and shafts. It can likewise be used in the manufacture of rail systems.


With 0.6 to 0.99% carbon content, high carbon steel exhibits excellent strength and is best used in the manufacture of springs, high-strength wires, masonry nails, drill bits, metal and wood cutting tools and press machinery. However, it is also more brittle as compared to the other varieties and may break when mishandled.

Ultra high

With about 1 to 2% carbon content, this type of steel can be tempered to achieve superior hardness. It is the most commonly used type used in the manufacture of knives.

As you can see, the versatility and affordability of this material makes it an excellent choice for the manufacture of a wide range of industrial products. Would you consider using it for your next project? You really should!


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