Carbon steel

Carbon steel is a steel with carbon content from about 0.05 up to 2.1 percent by weight. The definition of carbon steel from the America Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) states:

  • no minimum content is specified or required for chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, nickel, niobium, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, zirconium, or any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effect;
  • the specified minimum for copper does not exceed 0.40%;
  • or the maximum content specified for any of the following elements does not exceed the percentages noted: manganese 1.65 per cent; silicon 0.60 per cent; copper 0.60 per cent.

The term carbon steel may also be used in reference to steel which is not stainless steel; in this use carbon steel may include alloy steels. High carbon steel has many different uses such as milling machines, cutting tools (such as chisels) and high strength wires. These applications require a much finer microstructure, which improves the toughness .

Carbon steel is a popular metal choice for knife making due to its high amount of carbon, giving the blade more edge retention. To make the most out of this type of steel it is very important to heat treat it properly. If not the knife may end up being brittle, or too soft to hold an edge.

As the carbon percentage content rises, steel has the ability to become harder and stronger through heat treating; however, it becomes less ductile. Regardless of the heat treatment, a higher carbon content reduces weldability. In carbon steels, the higher carbon content lowers the melting point.

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Post time: Sep-16-2022