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Mild steel?


#1

Can anybody tell me what this term means? Thanks Alan


#2

I believe it refers to low carbon steel. Not enough carbon to
be suitable for tool making.

Dick Caverly


#3

Dear Alan: In the tool maker world mild steel reefers to alloy
1010 or 1020 cold rolled steel.

Hope this helps
LZ


#4

Mild steel is just plain old steel, no special alloying, no heat
treatment. Generally I have seen the term used only in connection
with cold rolled steel, but it may apply to hot rolled as well,
not sure.

Mild steel is on the soft, malleable end of steel products. It
is very easy to work with and very prone to rust.


#5

Alan, Mild steel is a generic name for low carbon steels (less
than 0.4% carbon is kind of a rule of thumb) with little or no
other alloying elements. It is used very loosely to cover any
non hardening steels.

Jim


@jbin
James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601
510-436-3552


#6

Can anybody tell me what this term means?

Alan, while I don’t have carbon percentage figures, my
understanding is that mild steel refers to steel (enough carbon
to be called steel, rather than pig iron, wrought iron, etc.)
that has low enough carbon content that it cannot be effectively
hardened. Most commonly sold steel is this variety, called Hot
rolled steel, cold rolled steel, etc, in the hardware stores or
steel dealers. Stuff like ordinary hardware (hinge plates, angle
irons, nails, etc.) are usually this type of steel. If you want
to harden it you must use a case hardening compount to harden the
surface. Higher carbon or more complex steels then get usually
called tool steels, or some other such name that designates it’s
greater capabilities.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe


#7

I believem the term refers to the yield point of the steel, that
is to point where the deformation remains permanent. it also
refers to the hear treatment of the steel.


#8

Low carbon content and as such not hardenable by heat treating.
Carbon content generaly about .2 percent (1020) or below. Medium
carbon .35-.45 percent or thereabouts. Jesse


#9

This term merely refers to the carbon content of the grade of
steel. Dead mild steel has a carbon content of between 0.07 and
0.15 % carbon. Mild steel has a carbon content of between 0.15
and 0.30 %. I hope this is enough of an explanation. Cheers, Brian
Minnear


#10

In my former life (a die maker for General Motors) mild steel
was also called “cold rolled” steel. A low carbon, relatively
soft metal that could be heat treated after machining for
hardness or toughness. I never tried to purchase the material as
they always supplied it to us as needed. Hope this helps. Mike


#11

Mild steel is a general purpose low carbon steel used for low
stress situations. The only time I remember using this was for a
spinning exercise. We used it to make annealing pans. As I
recalled the 18g sheet spun like butter but tended to flip flop
around a bit. I called the local steel yard for a specific
designation. When it is a hot rolled steel bar, its designation
is A 36. Mild steel contains carbon, manganese, phosphorus and
sulphur. Linda M


#12

Hello Alan,

Mild steel is low carbon steel. It is easily worked but cannot
be hardened in water or oil. Mild steel can be case hardened or
hardened in a special solution. If you are purchasing steel to
make stamps, hammers, punches or any other tool that you do not
want to deform or wear, do not buy mild steel. You want tool
steel or high carbon steel.

There are a wide variety of tool steel alloys available.
Depending on your needs will determine the type of tool steel you
should use.

I hope this helps.

John Franklin


#13

Alan, About 12 years ago I got really fed up with the low pay at
the jewelry store I was working at, and decided to become a sheet
metal apprentice at our local shipyard, so I have worked with
more mild steel than I care to admit. I’m pretty sure "mild"
refers to the carbon content in the steel. It’s pretty malleable
as far as steel goes, kinda like copper when compared to nickel.
It can bend up to a radius equal to the thickness of material
without cracking. I think when you add carbon to the steel it
becomes stronger (like what they would use for the outside of the
ship), but you can’t bend it very well. Maybe some of the
artmetal people could give you the exact carbon/ iron ratio. I
hope I remembered this correctly, It’s been a long time! Wendy
Newman


#14

Can anybody tell me what this term means?

Ah, finally a question I can answer. My father was a welder for
25 years and I, well, I was a welder’s helper for about 15.

Alexander G. Weygers writes the following in “The Making of
Tools” (reprinted as “The Complete Blacksmith”, 10 Speed Press,
1997):

  Mild Steel:  such steel is of a low-carbon content (<0.25%)
  and is not temperable, although its surface can be hardened
  through a process called 'case-herdening' (heating in a
  high carbon 	environment). Some tools can be made of mild
  steel, such as those that do not require hard-cutting or
  long-wearing parts (eg. garden tools). 

In practical terms most medium-carbon (<0.50% carbon) are often
grouped into the Mild Steel category because they hold temper
poorly. Above 0.5% you’re getting into serviceable cutting edges
and are dealing with so-called high-carbon steels. All of the
steel tools used to cut other metals are high-carbon, alloyed
steels and fall above 0.75% carbon, often as high as 0.90% or
higher.

Needless to say, the addition of alloying elements other than
carbon (chromium, tungsten, molybdenum, vanadium, cobalt, nickel,
silicon, etc, etc) vastly complicates the issue and bends most of
the general “rules”.

Examples, and sources, of mild steel include basic nails,
bailing/binding wire, wrought iron fences, etc. Screws,
machinery parts, gears and axles are generally medium-carbon
steels.

Hope that helps.

Best regards,
Trevor.


#15

Mild steel is - as another correspondent remarked - iron with
very low carbon content and little else other than iron… That
said another bloke was asking where to get pure iron. The
answer is - you can’t. Iron is so reactive that to really
purify it costs heaps! Many years ago I was in a steel research
association, and one of the projects was to get and determine
the properties of a sample of pure iron, because someone
discovered that there were no figures on the properties of pure
99.9999% iron. There was plenty of and tables as to
the properties of mild steel, wrought iron, cast iron and
hundreds of alloys of iron, but nobody could tell you about pure
elemental iron. So they set to and starting with the very
purest analytical reagent quality iron sulphate, converted it to
the oxide and smelted it. But what could they melt it in? there
was nothing that wouldn’t react at all with the pure metal or the
pure ore at the temperatures involved - around 1100, 1150C. So
they smelted it in an atmosphere of pure hydrogen using high
frequency induction heating, and used magnetic levitation to
hold it in the centre of the reaction vessel. Having got the
ball of iron, they re-melted it in a high vacuum to get rid of
the hydrogen gas that might be dissolved in it. I wasn’t
engaged on the project, but I did put on a pair of blue goggles
and peered through the quartz window of the vacuum furnace to
see
the rapidly spinning ball like a tiny miniature sun. They
mentioned that in itself was a problem; to avoid it spinning too
fast and blowing itself apart by centripetal force. Someone told
me that the final 300 gram ball cost around 20,000 pounds
(British) And that was in 1950

Even then the troubles weren’t over: it had to be kept away
from traces of moisture and oxygen as it reacted almost instantly
in normal atmospheres. I often wondered what finally happened to
it. But for most practical purposes, what used to be called
wrought iron, from which the blacksmiths made horseshoes, nails
etc, and swordsmiths made swords (in the very beginning) is
reasonably pure iron

       / \
     /  /
   /  /                                
 /  /__| \      @John_Burgess2
(______)       

At sunny Nelson NZ


#16

Thank you for an extremely good definition and description of
mild steel! I know what it is, now. One question - Are really
good knives (for butchers, etc.) made from the 90% carbon
variety?

Nancy
http://web.wt.net/~nbwidmer
ICQ# 9472643
Bacliff, Texas US on the Gulf Coast just blocks from Galveston Bay


#17

A good source of info on the various grades of steel, their
chemical make up, workability, general applications etc is
’Machinery’s Handbook’.

This book is on the ‘pricey’ side, about $70.00, you may be able
to find a copy in your local library. It has about 200 pages on
various steels. The steels are defined using the SAE (Scoiety of
Automotive Engineers) system. This system is used throught the
ferrous metals industry.

HTH
Dave


#18
   Thank you for an extremely good definition and description
of mild steel!  I know what it is, now.  One question - Are
really good knives (for butchers, etc.) made from the 90%
carbon variety? 

I hope it’s less than that. A graphite block contaminated with
10% iron isn’t going to make a good blade… I rather expect
that a mass consisting of 90% carbon is going to look more like a
block of graphite than a piece of steel. To your question: Good
high carbon steels, such as used for knives, will usually have
somewhere between .65 and 1.5 percent carbon. Anything in this
range can be hardened to a “file hard” state, but higher carbon
than .65 will give greater toughness. Knife steels though,
depend on more than just carbon. Other alloying constituents
will contribute additional properties to the steel that make a
better or worse knife. The high carbon stainless steels, for
example, like 440C steel, make nice knives and are more corrosion
resistant than plain high carbon steels, though they cannot be
hardened to quite the same degree as the best non stainless
types, which is why the best professional knives are NOT
stainless steels, and can take and hold a sharper edge as a
result, but need more care… Manganese, Chromium, tungsten,
Molybdenum, Silicon, Nickel, Vanadium, and sometimes phosphorus
and sulfur are used to impart various qualities to tool steels.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe


#19
   Thank you for an extremely good definition and description
of mild steel!  I know what it is, now.  One question - Are
really good knives (for butchers, etc.) made from the 90%
carbon variety? 

I hope it’s less than that. A graphite block contaminated with
10% iron isn’t going to make a good blade… I rather expect
that a mass consisting of 90% carbon is going to look more like a
block of graphite than a piece of steel. To your question: Good
high carbon steels, such as used for knives, will usually have
somewhere between .65 and 1.5 percent carbon. Anything in this
range can be hardened to a “file hard” state, but higher carbon
than .65 will give greater toughness. Knife steels though,
depend on more than just carbon. Other alloying constituents
will contribute additional properties to the steel that make a
better or worse knife. The high carbon stainless steels, for
example, like 440C steel, make nice knives and are more corrosion
resistant than plain high carbon steels, though they cannot be
hardened to quite the same degree as the best non stainless
types, which is why the best professional knives are NOT
stainless steels, and can take and hold a sharper edge as a
result, but need more care… Manganese, Chromium, tungsten,
Molybdenum, Silicon, Nickel, Vanadium, and sometimes phosphorus
and sulfur are used to impart various qualities to tool steels.

Hope this helps.

Peter Rowe


#20

Its common cold rolled or hot rolled steel with a carbon content
below 3.5% as called out in 1035 the last two digits are the
carbon content in % . Hope this helps! Bob