Steel Knowledge Summary

Steel Reading Guide:


This is the knowledge of steel we collected. After our processing, a lot of content may better understand. If you think there are problems, you can contact us at any time, and we will adjust your feedback. You can jump to the content you want to know quickly through the link below.


What Is Steel:

The Elements Contained in the Steel and Their Role in Steel:

Type of Steel:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Steel:

Application of Steel:

The Manufacturing Method of Steel Parts:


What is steel:

Steel is a general term for iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content between 0.02% and 2.11% by mass. In addition to carbon, it can also contain other elements such as chromium, nickel, manganese, etc. It is one of the most critical materials used in construction and manufacturing worldwide. HULK Metal is a top steel manufacturer in China, mainly providing you with a full range of casting, forging, stamping, and CNC processing services. After receiving your drawings and requirements, we will formulate a complete production solution to complete orders faster. People are constantly creating different steels to meet special needs. Now there are low-carbon steel, high-carbon steel, medium-carbon steel, stainless steel, and so on.


Elements Contained in Steel and Their Role in Steel:



It is the most important hardening element in steel and is present in all steel. One of the most important ways to classify steel is based on carbon content. The knives we use are made of high-carbon steel with a carbon content of more than 0.6%.



When its content in steel exceeds 13%, the steel will not rust (stainless steel), because its oxide forms an oxide film on the surface of the steel. Its presence increases the steel's wear resistance, hardness, and most importantly corrosion resistance. It is worth mentioning that stainless steel also needs to be well maintained during use, otherwise it will rust.



It is an important stabilizing element of austenite. Its presence contributes to the graining of the steel and also increases its robustness and strength as well as its resistance to wear. It also enables internal deoxidation of the steel during heat treatment and rolling. Most of the knives and scissors are now made of manganese-containing steel.



It is also called a carbonization agent in steel. Its function is to prevent the steel from becoming brittle and maintain the strength of the steel at high temperatures. Air-hardening steels also have at least 1% molybdenum to harden themselves in the air.



It makes steel maintain strength, corrosion resistance, and toughness.



Its role is to maintain the strength of the steel during production.



Steels containing tungsten have excellent wear resistance. We can use tungsten mixed with an appropriate proportion of chromium or manganese to make high-speed steel.



Steels with vanadium added have excellent wear resistance and ductility.



It is a double-edged sword in steel. Its existence can not only significantly increase the strength of steel but also improve atmospheric corrosion stability. It can also reduce the plasticity and toughness of steel, making steel cold and brittle. Its content in steel should be limited to less than 0.05%.



Generally, sulfur is a harmful element, which makes the steel hot and brittle, and the content is limited to less than 0.05%. However, the sulfur content of free-cutting steel is high, up to 0.08%~0.40%.


Type of Steel:

There are many ways to classify steel. We can classify according to the quality of the steel, according to the carbon content in the steel, or the forming method, metallographic structure, smelting method, use, etc. Let's look at some common steel classification standards.


The main factor in judging the quality of steel is the content of phosphorus and sulfur in the steel:

(1) Ordinary steel (P≤0.045%, S≤0.050%)

(2) High-quality steel (both P and S≤0.035%)

(3) High quality steel (P≤0.035%, S≤0.030%)


Carbon Steel:

Steel with a carbon content between 0.1% and 2%.

Low Carbon Steel: carbon content ≤ 0.25%,

Medium Carbon Steel: carbon content 0.25% - 0.60%,

High Carbon Steel: carbon content > 0.60%.


Alloy steel:

To improve the performance of steel, we will add some alloy elements when smelting carbon steel to obtain some special performance steel.

According to the total content of its alloying elements:

Low Alloy Steel: 

the total content of alloy elements ≤ 5%

Medium Alloy Steel: 

the total content of alloy elements is 5% to 10%

High Alloy Steel: 

the total content of alloying elements > 10%


Stainless Steel:

It is a kind of alloy steel with the characteristics of stainless steel because of the addition of a large amount of chromium. common are

Martensitic Stainless Steel;

Ferritic Stainless Steel;

Austenitic Stainless Steel;

Duplex Stainless Steel;

Precipitation Hardening Stainless Steel;

We have compiled a chapter about the detailed introduction of stainless steel. If you are interested, you can click on Stainless Steel to learn more.


Tool Steel:

It is steel used to manufacture cutting tools, measuring tools, molds, and wear-resistant tools. Its classification is mainly based on the chemical composition of steel:

Carbon Tool Steel

Alloy Tool Steel

High-speed Steel


Steel for Different Purposes:

According to the various uses of steel, we can call steel:

Alloy structural steel, reinforced steel.

Carburizing steel, ammonia steel, steel for surface hardening; easy-cut structural steel; steel for cold plastic forming: including steel for cold stamping and steel for cold heading.

Spring steel, bearing steel;

Oxidation-resistant steel, heat-strength steel, valve steel, electrothermal alloy steel, wear-resistant steel, low-temperature steel, electrical steel;

Steel for bridges, steel for ships, steel for boilers, steel for pressure vessels, steel for agricultural machinery, etc.


There are many other steel classification methods I won’t discuss here. If you want to know more, you can check the WIKI Steel.


Advantages and Disadvantages of Steel:

Steel is one of the most commonly used materials in construction and manufacturing. Its versatility, durability, and strength make it ideal for various applications. However, like any material, steel has both advantages and disadvantages. In this article, we'll take a look at some of the key advantages and disadvantages of using steel so you can make an informed decision about whether steel is right for your project.


Advantages of Steel:



Steel is known for its strength and durability, making it an ideal choice for high-stress applications. This means that steel structures can withstand heavy loads and resist damage from natural elements such as wind and earthquakes.



Steel is also known for its resistance to wear and tear, making it a durable choice for a wide range of applications. This means that steel structures and products can last for many years with minimal maintenance, making them a cost-effective choice over the long term.



Steel is a highly recyclable material, meaning that it can be reused and repurposed repeatedly without losing its strength or quality. This makes it an environmentally friendly choice, as it reduces the need for new raw materials and helps to conserve natural resources.



Steel can be molded and shaped into a wide range of shapes and forms, making it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications. From bridges and buildings to machinery and equipment, steel can be used to create structures and products of all sizes and shapes.


Disadvantages of Steel:



Steel is a relatively expensive material compared to other building materials such as wood or plastic. This means that projects using steel can be more expensive upfront, which may not be an affordable option for everyone.



Steel can be susceptible to corrosion, mainly if not treated or coated correctly. This can lead to rust formation, weakening the steel and making it less durable over time.



Steel is a relatively heavy material, which can make it difficult to transport and install. This can add to the cost of a project, as well as make it more difficult to work with.



Steel structures can be more complex to design and build than other structures, such as wooden or concrete structures. This means that it can be more time-consuming and expensive to create a steel structure, particularly for larger projects.


Application of Steel:

Steel is a versatile and widely used material in a variety of industries and applications. From construction and manufacturing to transportation and consumer goods, steel is an essential component in many different products and structures. In this article, we'll look at some of the key applications of steel, so you can understand the impact of this material on our daily lives.



Steel is a popular choice in construction, as it is strong, durable, and versatile. Steel is used to build everything from skyscrapers and bridges to homes and commercial buildings. Steel structures are known for their strength and ability to withstand heavy loads and natural elements, making them an ideal choice for high-stress applications.




Steel is also widely used in manufacturing, as it is an essential component in many different types of machinery and equipment. From cars and trucks to appliances and electronics, steel is used to create products that are strong, durable, and designed to last.




Steel is also an important material in the transportation industry. Steel is used to make cars, trucks, trains, and ships, as well as the infrastructure that supports these modes of transportation, such as bridges, roads, and railroads.



Consumer Goods: 

Steel is also used in a wide range of consumer goods, including appliances, electronics, and sporting equipment. Steel is known for its durability and strength, making it an ideal choice for products that are designed to last for many years.




Steel is also an important material in the development and maintenance of infrastructure, such as pipelines, power lines, and water treatment facilities. Steel is strong and durable, making it an ideal choice for these types of projects, where safety and reliability are of the utmost importance.



Manufacturing of Steel Parts:

In daily life, common steel parts are made by casting, forging, stamping, machining, welding, and other metal processing methods.

Only steel parts processed by specific metal manufacturing processes have particular shapes and properties.


Melt the billet into a special mold, wait for cooling, and then cut, grind, and finish to obtain steel parts with specific shapes and properties. There are many casting processes. If you want to learn more about casting, you can click here.


There are many ways to forge and process steel parts, such as free forging, hot forging, and die forging. Steel parts processed by forging have better mechanical properties than castings, but the shape of steel forgings will be relatively simple. If you want to know more about forging, click here.


Stamping can process steel plates, punched out by presses and molds, and bent to make desired steel parts.

CNC machining: 

CNC machining machines can be used to process cast steel, forged steel, or untreated billets for turning, milling, grinding, drilling, etc. Get steel parts with more complex shapes and more precise dimensions.




Needless to say, the importance of steel. Without steel, we would not have our current life. HULK Metal can provide you with services for steel casting, steel forging, stamping, and CNC machining. You can contact us anytime if you have any questions.

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