What is Steel ? Different types of steel

Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon that is commonly used in construction and other applications because of its hardness and tensile strength. Steel is often classified by its carbon content; high carbon steel is used for tools because of its great hardness and brittleness. For the purpose of sheeting and structural forms, low or medium carbon steel is used, because of its exposure to welding and tooling. Steels can be classified into different types and each type has its own uses.

Types of steel


  • Low carbon steel

    They contain .05% to .30% carbon. This steel is made in the basic oxygen and open hearth furnaces. They are used for forge work, rivets, chains and mechanical parts that do not need great strength. Some low carbon steel is cold rolled between highly polished rollers under great pressure to improve its tensile strength to give it a very smooth finish and exact size.

  • Medium carbon steel

    They have more carbon content and are stronger than low carbon steel. It contains .30% to .60% carbon. They are difficult to bend, weld and cut. They are used to make bolts, shafts, car axles, rails and other tools or parts that need strong metal. They are frequently hardened and tempered by heat treatment.

  • High carbon steel

    It contains .60% to 1.50% carbon which makes it the best grades of steel. They are used in electric furnaces. They are also called as tool steel because they are used to make tools like drills, taps, dies, reamers, files, cold chisels, crowbars and hammers. The steel becomes harder when the carbon content is more. It is rolled to the desired shape and is often ground to provide a smooth finish.

  • Alloy steels

    They are steels that are made by combining steels with many elements. Metals are the most used elements. They are added with a purpose to obtain properties that are not found in plain carbon steels.

  • Aluminium & chromium steel

    It’s smooth steel with high tensile strength. Chromium steel is strong, hard, strength and elasticity. They are widely used in automobile and airplane parts.

  • Nickel steel

    They are the most widely used form of alloy steels. They are non magnetic and has the tensile properties of high carbon steel without the brittleness. They add strength and toughness to steel without rusting and they are very strong and hard. It is used for wire cables, automobiles

  • Nickel chromium steel

    They possess a shock resistant quality that makes it suitable form armour plate, tungsten, molybdenum. Tungsten is a rare, heavy, white metal that has a higher melting pint than any other metal. Tungsten adds hardness to the steel

  • Stainless steel

    They were developed in England and have a high tensile strength and high corrosion resistance. They are also known as inox steel that does not corrode, rust or stain with water as ordinary steels.



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