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The Difference Between Carbon Steel and Alloy Steel

The Difference Between Carbon Steel and Alloy Steel

Issue Time:2022/08/30
Steel is an alloy mainly containing iron. But its properties can be changed to suit specific requirements by adding some other elements. This explains the difference between alloy steel and carbon steel. As the name suggests, alloy steel has other elements added to it, whereas carbon steel is steel with higher carbon content. Other differences will also be discussed in this article.

Carbon steel

Carbon steel is also called iron-carbon alloy with a carbon WC content of less than 2%.

Generally, it also contains a small amount of silicon, manganese, sulfur, phosphorus, and carbon steel. In addition to carbon use, it can be divided into three categories: carbon steel and carbon structural steel, carbon tool steel, and free-cutting structural steel. Carbon structural steel is divided into building structural steel and mechanical manufacturing structural steel.

According to carbon steel, carbon content can be divided into low carbon steel (WC≤0.25%), medium carbon steel (WC0.25% - 0.6%), phosphorus, sulfur content and high carbon steel (WC>6%) can be divided into Ordinary carbon steel (with high phosphorus and sulfur), high-quality carbon steel (with phosphorus and low sulfur) and high-quality steel (with less phosphorus and less sulfur), generally the higher the carbon content, the higher the hardness, the higher the strength but the ductility lower.

Alloy steel

Alloy steel is a steel that contains certain other elements in addition to iron and carbon. Commonly added elements in alloy steels are manganese, silicon, boron, chromium, vanadium, and nickel. The amount of these metals in alloy steel depends primarily on the purpose of the steel. Alloy steels are usually manufactured in order to obtain the desired physical properties in the steel.

Alloy steel is divided into low alloy steel and high alloy steel. When the percentage of added elements exceeds 8 (by weight), the steel is called high alloy steel. It is low alloy steel with added elements below 8% by weight of the steel. Low alloy steels are more common in the industry. Often, adding one or more of these elements to steel makes it harder and more durable. This steel is also corrosion-resistant and tougher than normal steel. In order to change the properties of steel, it needs to be heat treated as elements are added.

In order to maintain the weldability of alloy steels, the carbon content needs to be reduced. Therefore, the carbon content is reduced from 0.1% to 0.3% with a corresponding reduction in alloying elements. These steel alloys are called high strength low alloy steels. You will be surprised to learn that stainless steel is also alloy steel with at least 10% chromium by weight.

In a nutshell, alloy steel vs carbon steel:

There are many types of steel, such as alloy steel and carbon steel

As the name suggests, alloy steel is a steel formed by adding various other elements to the steel through heat treatment.

Carbon steels, on the other hand, are steels that contain primarily carbon and do not require any minimum percentage of other elements.

Carbon steel is the main grade of steel used in the United States

Stainless steel is a kind of alloy steel

Steel pipes made of carbon steel and alloy steel are called carbon steel pipes and alloy steel pipes, respectively. A seamless steel pipe is a steel pipe without a welding seam manufactured by the piercing hot-rolling method. It is sometimes necessary to further cold work the hot worked tube in order to obtain the corresponding shape and size. At the same time, carbon steel pipes and alloy steel pipes are the main requirements for their chemical composition the carbon content. Seamless steel pipes are a large type, which refers to seamless steel pipes.

The above briefly describes the difference between carbon steel and alloy steel, and what is a seamless carbon steel pipe and seamless alloy steel pipe. If you want to buy them, welcome to contact us.

BAOLAI is a professional custom seamless steel pipes manufacturer. Seamless steel pipe is a seamless hollow section of round pipe. Seamless steel pipes are made of carbon steel, alloy steel, stainless steel ingots, or solid tube billets, which are hot-rolled, cold-rolled, or cold-drawn. Our seamless steel pipes are available in sizes 1/2"-36" and meet API, ASTM, BS, DIN, and JIS standards for the transportation and construction of liquids and gases.
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