Learn what carbon steel is and its applications as a raw material

Present in many everyday items, carbon steel offers great strength and versatility

Por Tuper S/A  |  3 de November de 2022 às 13:31

A widely used metallic alloy in both industrial and construction sectors, carbon steel is the result of the combination of iron and carbon elements. It is utilized in various industries, including the automotive industry, household appliances like refrigerators and washing machines, construction, architecture, manufacturing of agricultural machinery, among others.

Carbon steel offers a wide range of applications and resistance levels, depending on the combinations of iron and carbon. Due to its versatility in terms of finish and shaping, it is popular and highly applicable, thanks to its diverse range of potential uses, as it possesses mechanical properties that vary based on the material and its compositions.

Technically, what is carbon steel?

By definition, carbon steel is a metallic alloy, and its alloy composition provides the steel with its level of mechanical strength, containing between 0.008% to 2.11% carbon concentration. Pig iron, the immediate product of reducing iron ore with coke or coal and limestone at high temperatures, is the base used to create various types of steel.

Types of carbon steel

There are various elements that provide the necessary hardness to iron, with carbon being the primary hardening element. Manganese, silicon, and phosphorus also regulate the steel’s resistance level. The amount of carbon defines the classification into low, medium, and high carbon, each with its characteristics and applications.

Here are the classifications

Low carbon (up to 0.30% carbon) – this type of carbon steel has low resistance but high tenacity and ductility, making it machinable and weldable.

Medium carbon (from 0.30% to 0.60%) – it has higher resistance to heat treatment, along with hardness and lower tenacity and ductility compared to low carbon. Medium carbon steel has good water hardenability.

High carbon (above 0.60%) – it offers the highest wear resistance and hardness. However, it has lower ductility compared to the others. It is typically used in tempered or annealed conditions and maintains a good cutting edge.

Can carbon steel rust?

Compared to stainless steel, carbon steel has lower corrosion resistance. However, depending on the carbon concentration, its resistance to oxidation can increase.

Main applications of carbon steel:

Industrial and commercial use Production of steel pipes Construction Wheels and railway equipment Gears for machinery parts requiring high mechanical strength Raw material for architectural and contemporary art projects Gym equipment Toys Architectural elements like stair railings, guardrails, roof structures, etc. Usage in the automotive industry for both light and heavy vehicles Manufacturing of items for agricultural equipment and vehicles Metal structures, stands, machining, and black and galvanized carbon steel tubes for structural and conduit applications Hospital equipment, among others.

Classification of carbon steels:

The most widely adopted classification system is SAE-AISI, in which carbon steel uses group 1xxx, classified as:

10xx: Common carbon steel
11xx: Resulfurized
12xx: Resulfurized and rephosphorized
13xx: Contains about 1.75% Manganese
14xx: Contains Niobium concentration
15xx: High Manganese carbon steel

Among the properties of carbon steel are relative hardness, increasing resistance with carbon content, decreasing ductility with carbon content, the ability to withstand high temperatures and pressure, and the possibility of use in electrical installations.

Among its benefits are excellent cost-effectiveness, a wide range of applications, high resistance and durability, versatility, and high weldability. This makes it entirely compatible with the production of tubes for various industrial segments, for example.

Tuper utilizes carbon steel as a raw material for products applied in various sectors, offering items developed with technology and excellence to meet the distinct demands of each industry. These products are part of the daily lives of thousands of people and are found in automobiles and other vehicles, construction, industrial installations, major construction projects, and many other places.

Learn more about our areas of expertise and get detailed information about Tuper products by visiting the Markets and Products section of our website.

About Tuper
With over 50 years of experience, Tuper is one of Brazil’s largest steel processors. The company keeps up with market evolution with extensive product lines, meeting the most demanding national and international standards. The product portfolio includes solutions for use in industrial, automotive, construction, agribusiness, oil and gas, among other sectors. In the construction sector, the company specializes in tubular foundation piles with quick connections, structural steel profiles, metal roof systems, ribbed composite slabs, scaffolding, slitters, and black and galvanized carbon steel tubes for structural and conduit applications.
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