Mild steel round bar is sometimes referred to as ‘mild steel’ or ‘plain carbon steel’. The American Iron and Steel Institute defines a carbon steel as having no more than 2 % carbon and no other appreciable alloying element. Carbon steel makes up the largest part of steel production and is used in a vast range of applications.
Typically carbon steels are stiff and strong. They also exhibit ferromagnetic (i.e. they are magnetic). This means they are extensively used in motors and electrical appliances. Welding carbon steels with a carbon content greater than 0.3 % requires that special precautions be taken. However, welding carbon steel presents far fewer problems than welding stainless steels. The corrosion resistance of carbon steels is poor (i.e. they rust) and so they should not be used in a corrosive environment unless some form of protective coating is used.Mild steel is also known as carbon steel or plain carbon steel, due to its composition from iron and carbon, plus lesser elements which are too minimal to affect the properties of the alloy.
The term ‘mild steel’ refers to steels that have a low carbon content (max of 0.3%), but which also have material properties which are highly suitable for fabrication. Properties include its good strength, its suitability to be bent and formed into a wide variety of shapes and its ability to be welded. This makes it suitable for many uses.It is also the least expensive type of steel, which combined with its usefulness, makes it the most common steel used.
Properties of Mild Steel
Having a low carbon content of 0.05% to 0.3% means it is neither extremely brittle nor extremely flexible.The low carbon content makes it soft, like iron so whilst it is tough and durable it is also malleable and ductile which is ideal for us to engineer and form. It is also less expensive, although it rusts easily.
A higher carbon content would make it stronger but also harder, less flexible and more difficult for us to weld because it has a lower melting point, as well as being more expensive.
Fabrication of Mild Steel
The nature of Mild steel makes it very suitable for engineering and fabrication which is why it is so popular, and why we work with it.
The low carbon content makes it less brittle enabling it to flex so we can bend, fold, punch and laser cut it into shapes and forms without it breaking. It also has higher heat resistance so we can weld it.Mild steel easily rusts and must therefore be protected by a seal. We use EPC powder coating or electro-plating to prevent damage from rust, and give an attractive, durable finish.
Uses of Mild Steel
Because mild steel is such a highly versatile material it is used to produce many everyday objects as well as for commercial goods and projects, especially if a large amount of metal is needed.