Alro Steel was established in 1948 by Al and Robert Glick. Today, Alro is comprised of Alro Steel, Alro Metals, Alro Plastics and Alro Metals Outlet.

 Carbon Steel

Carbon Steel

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel, also called plain carbon steel is one of the most common forms of steel on the market today. Carbon steel is defined as an alloy of iron with carbon where the total quantity of alloying elements is less than 2% by mass with compositional limits of 0.6% for copper, 1.65% for manganese, 0.04% for phosphorus, 0.6% for silicon, and 0.05% for sulfur. It will not have any other elements added to enhance a specific property or attribute. As a premier metals service center, Alro Steel is your trusted carbon steel supplier, offering premium carbon steel in bar, pipe, tube, plate, sheet, structural shapes, grating, expanded metal, and more.

Carbon Steel Products From Alro

Selecting Carbon Steel
When selecting carbon steel there are three general categories to consider: An increase in carbon will raise carbon steel’s hardness and strength. For example, mild carbon steel can be bent, cut, and twisted. while a high carbon steel will provide strength and hardness but not flexibility.
  • low carbon = .06% to .25% carbon content (mild carbon steel)
  • medium carbon = .25% to .55% carbon content (medium carbon steel)
  • high carbon = >.55% to 1.00% carbon content (hard carbon steel)
Explaining Carbon Steel Grade Series
  • 10XX = non-resulpherized carbon steel, with manganese 1.00% maximum (example 1018, 1045 and 1050).
  • 11XX = resulpherized carbon steel (for example 1117, 1141 and 1144).
  • 12XX = rephosphorized and resulpherized carbon steel (for example 12L14 and 1215).

The second two numbers in AISI-SAE designations indicate the approximate carbon content for steel (for example, in 1018 the carbon range is .15% to .20%; .18% [shown as "18"] is the approximate carbon content).

Carbon Steel Properties

The American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) defines carbon steel as follows: "Steel is considered to be carbon steel when no minimum content is specified or required for chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, titanium, tungsten, vanadium or zirconium, or any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effect; when the specified minimum for copper does not exceed 0.40 percent; or when the maximum content specified for any of the following elements does not exceed the percentages noted: manganese 1.65, silicon 0.60, copper 0.60."
Carbon content within carbon steel alters the characteristics of steel. As carbon content increases, the hardness and strength also increases. A low or mild carbon steel can be bent, cut, twisted, and welded to easily compared to other metals. A hard carbon steel bar is commonly used for knife blades or applications that need strength and hardness but not flexibility. This range of characteristics makes carbon steel is ideal for many industrial products and applications where durability is essential.

It should also be noted as the carbon content rises, steel has the ability to become harder and stronger through heat treating, but this also makes it less ductile. Regardless of the heat treatment, a higher carbon content reduces weldability. In carbon steels, the higher carbon content lowers the melting point.

Contact Alro Steel for Premium Carbon Steel Today

Alro processes and distributes high-quality metals and plastics with next-day delivery to over 50,000 customers in North America. For more detailed information on our inventory of carbon steel or product specifications visit our metals selection grid or our online metals guide.

MaterialBarsPipe / TubePlateSheetStructuralGratingExpanded MetalOther