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4 Main Types of Steel

On: Apr 19, 2022
By: TransMetal
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Category: Blog
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There are a lot of types of steel out there, and the distinction between them is very clear. Different types of steel are used for different things, as their qualities are a bit different, obviously. The way steel is categorised is by grades. Depending on its level of toughness, and its other properties, it’s a different grade. All steel is based on iron and carbon, just in different levels, and it consists of those two elements and additional elements. It all determines the properties of a specific steel type. There are four main types of steel. There is carbon steel, alloy steel, tool steel, and stainless steel.

Carbon Steel

This type of steel often has copper, manganese, or silicon in it. It’s the toughest among all the other steel types. Carbon steel can be split into a couple of categories of its own. Depending on the amount of carbon they have in them. There is low carbon steel, medium carbon steel and high carbon steel. Low carbon steel is the cheapest and the weakest among the other carbon steel types, but it has ductility.

The more carbon in a carbon steel, the more tough it is, the more strength it has, but as a result the less ductility. Medium and high carbon steels are produced using heat, and that makes them quite different from what low carbon steel is. Their properties are obviously changed. Each type of carbon steel is used for different things. Low carbon steel is used in the production process of food cans, pipes, and bridge part. Medium carbon steel is used when making both tracks and wheels for trains. High carbon steel is useful when producing wires, dies and cutting tools, as it’s so strong.

Alloy Steel

This steel grade is made by adding different alloys to make a highly functional materials with useful qualities such as resistance to corrosion. Furthermore, it’s strong, hard, and tough. Common elements that are added to iron and carbon to make alloy steel are manganese, nickel, or chromium. It depends purely on what effect you want to get, as different alloys will make it have different properties.

Manganese makes the steel less delicate, chromium works well to prevent corrosion from occurring, and nickel makes the steel generally stronger. In general, alloy steel exists in two forms – low alloy steel and high alloy steel. It depends on how much of the other elements have been added to create a specific type of alloy steel. It then determines what type it is.

Tool Steel

From the multitude of steel types, we can also extinguish tool steel. It’s the steel that’s produced with the tools in mind. Every single tool that you use has to be extra tough to be safe and practical and to do its job correctly. That’s why making them is such a complex process, it’s not that easy. Tool steel is a type of steel that is perfect for this task, though. This is the solution to the problem of making tools exactly what they need to be. This type of steel makes it easy, and it’s reliable.

There are a couple of different subcategories among this type. It’s categorised based on what effect needs to be achieved, as tools vary in the way they look and what function they have. Some are sharp, others are used when working with heat, that’s why a certain distinction needs to be made.

Stainless Steel

Different types of steel are good for different things, and stainless steel is a perfect fit, when you want to create more commercial objects like jewellery for example. It’s extremely durable and always looks amazing, making it a perfect material for such things. It’s both highly practical and beautiful, which makes it a perfect choice.

As suggested by the name, it doesn’t stain, and it doesn’t undergo corrosion, so it’s a safe bet through and through. It’s relatively easy to form it into any shape you want, and it’s recyclable.

Final Words

There are four main types of steel, and each one of them was created to serve a certain purpose. Carbon, alloy, tool and stainless steel are all extremely important and make our everyday lives easier by contributing to the creation of the world as we know it. Steel is simply a mixture of carbon, iron and additional elements, but it has the power to build our reality through tools, pipes, train tracks and many more seemingly mundane objects. Check out Trans Metal – a Wembley scrapyard, for the best way to get rid of it when you no longer need it.

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