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How many types of steel are there? Distinguish the characteristics of each type

How many types of steel are there? Distinguish the characteristics of each type

BlogDate: 03-11-2023 by: Ngoc Cam

The diverse steel industry leads to the country's industrial development, solving many needs for materials in the construction and manufacturing sectors. However, not everyone understands clearly about steel, especially how many types of steel there are. Each type will have different characteristics and structures suitable for each application. Let's follow MRS Steel to get deeper into this aspect!

1. What is steel?

Steel is an alloy with the main component being iron, combined with carbon and various other chemical elements (Si, Mn, P, S, Cr, Ni,...). The chemical elements in steel alloys and their content can be adjusted for hardness, elasticity, ductility, oxidation resistance, and strength. This diversity has resulted in over 3000 different types of steel today.

2. How many types of steel are there?

Steel is classified according to its composition, depending on the carbon content and elements. We have 4 types of steel including:

2.1. Carbon steel

Carbon steel has two main components: iron and carbon, other elements account for an insignificant proportion. Despite having only two elements, carbon steel can be modified into various types for different applications by adjusting the carbon content.

  • Low carbon steel: carbon content less than 0.25%, high ductility, specialized for making wires, bolts, pipes

  • Medium carbon steel: 0.25-0.6% carbon content helps the steel have high strength and lower ductility than low carbon steel, used to make gears and rails.

  • High carbon steel: carbon content 0.6-2% and often used to make nails and sharp tools.

2.2. Stainless steel

Stainless steel is well known in the field of manufacturing medical equipment and instruments, but in fact its application range is much larger. They are iron alloys containing a minimum of 10.5% chromium, which imparts a bright finish and excellent corrosion resistance. Not only has its aesthetic value, chromium is also known for its extremely good oxidation resistance and high durability. Therefore, stainless steel is very popular, widely used in the field of household appliances, furniture,...

There are 4 main types of stainless steel, including:

  • Austenic: High chromium and nickel content enhances corrosion resistance, good durability, easy to clean, used to produce kitchen equipment

  • Ferritic: Economical due to low carbon and nickel content, known for its aesthetic appeal and bright finish, commonly used in the automotive industry.

  • Austenitic - Ferritic (Duplex): The combination of austenitic and ferritic alloy increases the carbon content, providing twice the strength, ductility and corrosion resistance

  • Martensitic: Martensitic alloy undergoes rapid cooling so it has good plasticity and heat resistance, often used for making medical tools, scissors,...

2.3. Alloy steel

Alloy steel combines many different elements with concentrations ranging from 1-50% to change the mechanical properties of the product. Depending on the proportion of alloying elements, we have 3 main types including:

  • Low alloy steel: total content of other metallic elements is less than 2.5%

  • Medium alloy steel: total content of other metal elements 2.5-10%

  • High alloy steel: total content of other metal elements is over 10%.

In the fields of construction and household appliances, low alloy steel is preferred for its strength, thanks to the presence of elements like manganese, chromium, silicon, nickel, and more, all of which are under 10%.

2.4. Tool steel

Tool steel has high carbon content (0.7 - 1.4%) and low S and P impurities (< 0.025%). Going through the process of tempering at high temperatures and cooling quickly, repeatedly, helps tool steel be durable and heat resistant. They are often used in the fields of tool and machinery manufacturing.

Depending on the final product, the source of tool steel materials is also different:

  • Air - hardening: Increasing the chromium content in the composition helps steel to be exposed to high temperatures without deformation.

  • Water - hardening: Steel is continuously cooled during the production process, used to make common tools.

  • Oil - hardening: Tool steel is protected by a layer of oil against wear resistance, often used for knives and shears. 

  • Hot - working: This is a type of steel that can withstand extremely heat and is often used in forging or casting.

  • Shock - resisting: Ingredients include small amounts of carbon, silicon, and molybdenum to increase the hardness of steel, suitable for hole punches and chisels.

3. Address to import genuine steel at good prices in Vietnam

According to WorldSteel's report, Vietnam shipped 23 million tons of crude steel in 2021, ranking 13th worldwide. In addition, Vietnam's steel industry ranked 14th in the list of countries/territories with the most exports in the world (11.2 million tons). Currently, Vietnam is constantly promoting investment and developing infrastructure and modern production lines to improve the quantity and quality of the steel industry. Many famous Vietnamese steel brands in the world market such as Hoa Phat, Hoa Sen, Ton Dong A, Nam Kim,...

MRS Steel is a leading unit in the field of supporting Vietnamese steel imports for many partners around the world. With more than 12 years of experience, possessing a team of market analysis, sourcing, and professional logistics experts, MRS Steel is confident in being able to meet all customer orders at the most competitive prices.

For detailed information about the Vietnamese steel market and products, please contact via Email vanloc@mrssteel.com.vn or Whatsapp:+84 76 911 2358 for enthusiastic support.