What is Mild Steel?
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.
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.
At Dymond we use mild steel to form bespoke products including brackets, enclosures, pig roasts, frames, shopfittings and POS display equipment.