From Machinery's Handbook Pocket Companion


Table 1: Standard Steel Classification

Main Group



Carbon Steels

When maximum content of the main elements do not exceed the following:

  • Mn ? 1.65%

  • Si ? 0.60%

  • C < 0.60%

May be used with or without final heat treatment. May be annealed, normalized, case hardened or quenched and tempered. May be killed [a], semikilled, capped, or rimmed, and, when necessary, the method of deoxidation may be specified.

Alloy Steels

The maximum range of elements exceed the above amounts. Steels containing up to 3.99 % Cr, and smaller amounts (generally 1 4%) of other alloying elements.

Alloys steels are always killed, but special deoxidation or melting practices, including vacuum, may be specified for special critical applications.

Stainless Steels

Generally contains at least 10% Cr, with or without other elements. Few contain more than 30% Cr or less than 50% Fe. In the U.S. the stainless steel classification includes those steels containing 4% Cr.

In the broadest sense, this category can be divided into three groups based on structure: austenitic-(400 Series) nonmagnetic in the annealed condition. Nonhardenable; can be hardened by cold working. The general-purpose grade is widely known as 18-8 (Cr-Ni). ferritic-(400 Series) always magnetic and contain Cr but no Ni. Basic grade contains 17% Cr. This group also contains a 12% Cr steel with other elements, such as Al or Ti, added to prevent hardening. martensitic-(300 Series) Magnetic and can be hardened by quenching and tempering. Basic grade contains 12% Cr. This series contains more...

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Stainless Steel Alloys
Stainless steels are steels that contain a minimum of 10% chromium and are more resistant to corrosion than normal steels.
Ferrous Metals and Iron Alloys
Ferrous metals and alloys are iron-based materials that are used in a wide variety of industrial applications.
Precision Shafting
Precision shafting provides the highest degree of overall accuracy, concentricity, straightness and surface perfection attainable in commercial practice.
Tool Steels
Tool steels are wear resistant ferrous alloys based on iron and carbon with high levels of alloying elements such as chromium, molybdenum, tungsten and vanadium.
Electrolytic Cleaning Equipment
Electrolytic cleaning equipment uses electrolytes and applied current to electrochemically clean welds and other metal surfaces. Electrolytic cleaners are also known as electrocleaners, weld cleaners and electrochemical cleaning systems.

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Steels that contain specified amounts of alloying elements -- other than carbon and the commonly accepted amounts of manganese, copper, silicon, sulfur, and phosphorus -- are known as alloy steels.

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