What is carbon steel? Importing high quality Vietnamese carbon steel

What is carbon steel? Importing high quality Vietnamese carbon steel

BlogDate: 12-04-2024 by: Nhu Quynh

Carbon steel is steel made of iron and carbon with some other ingredients such as manganese, silicon, phosphorus,... Let's delve deeper into the characteristics, applications, and important aspects of this type of steel with MRS Steel.

Carbon steel is among the top 4 most popular types of steel, used in many fields such as industry, manufacturing, civil use,... because of its flexibility and hardness.

The more carbon in the steel, the higher the hardness and durability of the steel, in which carbon steel components can contain up to 2.1 wt.% carbon. The relatively low production cost of carbon steel makes it more preferred over other types of steel. Below, MRS Steel will explore with you the pros and corn, production methods and applications of carbon steel.

Carbon steel is steel made of carbon along with other elements
Carbon steel is steel made of carbon along with other elements

What are the different types of carbon steel?

Carbon steel is categorized into three types based on its carbon content:

Low carbon steel

Low carbon steel has a carbon ratio of 0.04 - 0.25% or 0.29% with small amounts of other elements. Therefore, steel has low hardness and durability, so it is also called mild steel. However, they exhibit good ductility and can be easily shaped by pressing or bending, even when cold-formed.

Medium carbon steel

Medium carbon steels with average carbon content (0.25 - 0.5%), providing good corrosion resistance and high durability. Medium carbon steel has good heat treatment and cutting performance but poor welding performance, requiring preheating in welding. This type of steel is mainly used in high-strength moving parts such as air compressors, pump pistons, turbine blades, gears, crankshafts, rollers,...

High carbon steel

Thanks to the carbon content of 0.6 - 2%, high carbon steel has good bearing capacity and high durability. The hardness of this steel can be up to 60 - 65 HRC according to Rockwell C. High carbon steel is mainly used in the production of springs, wear parts and high-hardness tools.

Each type of carbon steel exhibits unique properties and applications
Each type of carbon steel exhibits unique properties and applications

What is carbon steel made of

Carbon steel is primarily made up of iron and carbon, combined with a number of other ingredients such as manganese, silicon, phosphorus,... In which, the carbon content determines the mechanical properties and durability of the steel. If the amount of carbon is low, the plasticity is high, convenient for shaping, bending and vice versa. However, the hardness and brittleness of the product depends on the metallurgy and heat treatment process. The carbon ratio can range from 0.02 - 2.1% depending on the amount of steel but the common ratio is 0.1 - 0.3%.

Pros and cons of carbon steel


Each carbon steel type has unique mechanical properties when undergoing metallurgy and heat treatment. Manufacturers can adjust technical parameters to create outstanding advantages for carbon steels as follows:

  • High durability and hardness: High carbon content enhances the steel's bearing capacity and resists environmental impacts.
  • Corrosion resistance: Carbon steel has extremely good corrosion resistance, so it is often used in the chemical, petroleum and marine industries.
  • Good bending and melting ability: The amount of carbon can be easily customized to help the steel have flexibility for shaping, which is crucial in manufacturing and construction processes.


Carbon steel still have some disadvantages such as:

  • Easy to rust: Manufacturers often add about 10-12% chromium to the composition, which acts as a moisture-proof layer to help limit rust when exposed to the environment.
  • Poor aesthetics: Carbon steel lacks the smooth, shiny surface like stainless steel. Therefore, they are often applied to products that do not require high aesthetics such as pipes, machinery, spare parts,...

Carbon steel strength helps it be applied in many areas of life
Carbon steel strength helps it be applied in many areas of life

How is carbon steel made

Carbon steel can be produced from iron ore, scrap steel or a combination of both without losing its properties and strength. By heating iron ore and coke in the absence of air at a temperature of about 1650 degrees Celsius, the molten iron is enriched in carbon from the burning coke. The remaining impurities combine with lime to form slag, which floats on the metal surface to be removed. The product initially contains approximately 4% carbon, which is then decarbonized to reduce it to the desired level. Decarbonization occurs by passing oxygen through the melt forming monoxide and carbon dioxide.

Applications of carbon steels

Possessing many outstanding properties, carbon steel is a material widely used in many different industries, typically:

  • Road and bridge construction: Carbon steel has good corrosion resistance and high durability, suitable for building infrastructure such as roads, bridges, buildings, tunnels,...
  • Automobile industry: Carbon steel is an ideal material for car parts such as vehicle frames, wings, hoods, exhaust pipes,... because of its high hardness, lightness and durable structure that helps reduce weight and increase space efficiency for vehicles.
  • Aerospace industry: With its lightweight properties and outstanding mechanical strength, carbon steel is used in the production of aircraft components, spacecraft bodies and rockets.
  • Oil and gas industry: Carbon steels are used to produce equipment and oil pipes thanks to its good bearing capacity. This will ensure the safety and performance of pipeline systems under the harsh conditions of the oil and gas industry.
  • Manufacturing and machinery industry: Carbon steel has ductility and flexible shaping, so it is suitable for processing and producing machine parts such as shafts, bearings, gears,...

The strength of steel: Carbon steel's resilience makes it ideal for infrastructure, vehicles, and machinery
Carbon steel's resilience makes it ideal for infrastructure, vehicles, and machinery

Import the best quality Vietnamese carbon steel at MRS Steel

According to Worldsteel, Vietnam ranked 12th in the world in crude steel output with 19 million tons in 2023 and belongs to the group of steel exporting countries with a turnover of over 10 billion USD. Vietnam is increasingly enhancing its position in the steel export sector. This has opened up many opportunities for steel importers to have more quality supply at good prices.

Although Vietnam always creates conditions to promote international trade exchange, many complex policies, regulations and procedures can make it difficult for importers. MRS Steel is a unit sourcing and supporting the import of Vietnamese steel to the United States, Australia, Mexico, Europe, Belgium, Malaysia, Indonesia,...

The network connecting the largest steel manufacturers in Vietnam, understanding the customs clearance process and handling incidents, problems,... are advantages that help MRS Steel satisfy 100% of customers throughout 12 years of operation. We always strive to bring satisfaction to importers through optimizing purchasing costs, time and effort.

Carbon steel are an important material with high applicability in life. Therefore, choosing the correct type of steel suitable for the project greatly contributes to the effectiveness of the project. If you have any questions or need to import reputable Vietnamese carbon steel, please contact MRS Steel for the best support!