Low carbon steel is a type of metal that has an alloying element made up of a relatively low amount of carbon. Typically, it has a carbon content that ranges between 0.05% and 0.30% and a manganese content that falls between 0.40 and 1.5%. Low carbon steel is one of the most common types of steel used for general purposes, in part because it is often less expensive than other types of steel. While the steel contains properties that work well in manufacturing a variety of goods, it is most frequently made into flat-rolled sheets or strips of steel.
Items made from low carbon steel compete with products that can be manufactured using stainless steel and aluminum alloy metals. Low carbon steel can be used to manufacture a wide range of manufactured goods - from home appliances and ship sides to low carbon steel wire and tin plates. Since it has a low amount of carbon in it, the steel is typically more malleable than other kinds of steel. As a result, it can be rolled thin into products like car body panels.
The carbon content for panels that are made of low carbon steel alloy is usually quite low, generally less than 0.10%. The carbon content for products like rolled steel structural plates, forgings, stampings, or sections is a bit higher, usually up to 0.30%. Pipes are a common product made from the higher carbon category. Generally, a low carbon steel pipe is used for transmitting substances such as gas and oil.
The steelmaking process as well as the deoxidation method can influence the properties of low carbon steel. In general, these properties are comparable to those of iron. Lower carbon steels usually have softer and weaker properties than steels containing higher carbon content. This can make them easier to weld.
Other types of carbon steel include medium, high, and ultrahigh carbon steels. Medium carbon steel customarily has a carbon content ranging between 0.30 and 0.60% and a manganese content falling between 0.60 and 1.65%. It is frequently used for making products like axles, gears, shafts, and rail systems. Often used for making ultra-strength wires or spring materials, high carbon steel usually has a carbon content ranging between 0.60 and 1.0% and a manganese content ranging between 0.30 to 0.90%. Ultrahigh carbon steel, which can be used for manufacturing items like knives, is thermomechanically processed and ordinarily has a carbon content of 1.25 to 2.0%.