Carbon steel, also known as mild steel, typically contains between 0.12% and 2.0% carbon as its primary interstitial alloying constituent. Carbon serves as a hardening agent in the steel-making process, with higher levels of carbon resulting in stronger and harder steel when heat-treated (although it may also lead to decreased ductility). In general, carbon steels with higher carbon levels have lower melting points. By contrast, mild steel contains only a small percentage of carbon.
Mild steel contains only a small amount of carbon and is strong and tough but with quite a high melting point – it is also known as plain-carbon steel.
Mild steel is the most common form of steel due to its low price and huge versatility across a number of applications. Low-carbon steel contains approximately 0.05–0.25% carbon making it malleable and ductile.
Mild steel is often used when large quantities of steel are needed. Structural steel is a common application.
Here are some common examples of mild steel used for structural purposes:
Parallel Flange Channels
Parallel channelled beams are U-shaped with right angled corners. They come in different sizes, however, the two sides are always the same length and are parallel. They also offer a high strength to weight ratio and have similar uses to angled sections.
Tapered Flange Beams
Taper flange beams are I-shaped sections and are also available in a wide-variety of sizes. In construction these are often used for cross-sections of girders. Though they have quite high resistance ratios, they are not usually recommended when pressure is present along their length as they are not torsion (twisting) resistant.
Universal beams, also known ad I-beams or H-beams, are shaped like their namesake: an ‘I’ when standing upright, and a ‘H’ on their side. Universal beams are usually made of structural steel and are used in construction and civil engineering, among other industries.
Universal beams are also widely used for structural purposes. They are similar to beams and are often called I-beams or H-beams, however, all three sections are equal in length. As their name suggests, they are mainly used for columns, and have fantastic load-bearing capabilities.
These are just a few of the most common types of structural steel. Read more about it here.
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