Metals are the beating heart of our industry. The skilled team at Anderson Shumaker knows their metals inside and out. But, not everyone is familiar with the many metals we forge. Each metal has its own unique properties and attributes, and not all metals are appropriate for all products. A few weeks back we discussed alloy steels; today we’ll take a look at carbon steel, a popular open-die forging choice for oil & gas, power generation, and special machinery.
What is Carbon Steel?
The term “carbon steel” often describes non-stainless steel. This steel contains a carbon content up to 2.1% by weight. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), carbon steel is often broken down into 4 classes based wholly on the material’s carbon content: low-carbon steel (0.05-0.3%); medium-carbon steel (0.3-0.6%); high-carbon steel (0.6-1.00%), and ultra high-carbon steel (1.25-2.0%).
Carbon steel is ideal for applications involving high temperature and pressure. The forging process increases carbon steel’s strength by eliminating imperfections such as air bubbles, which are associated with methods like casting. In addition to being mechanically stronger, forging increases carbon steel’s wear and impact resistance. As a result, the material achieves a very tight grain structure. As the carbon content increases, the metal becomes even stronger and harder through heat treatment (although this makes the material less ductile). Higher carbon content lowers a metal’s melting point and reduces weldability.
Anderson Shumaker can process carbon steel orders quickly due to our extensive in-stock inventory. This, combined with our in-house heat treating, gives us the flexibility to produce the following grades to virtually any specification:
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