General Properties of Steels

general properties of steels
A worker presents a part made of stainless steel. Sean Gallup/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Different types of steel are produced according to the mechanical and physical properties required for their application.  

Various grading systems are used to distinguish steels based on these properties.

According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), steels can be broadly categorized into four groups based on their chemical compositions:

  1. Carbon Steels
  2. Alloy Steels
  3. Stainless Steels
  4. Tool Steels

    The following table lists the properties of steels based on the categories noted above. Properties determined at room temperature (77°F/25°C).

    General Properties of Steels:


    Carbon Steels

    Alloy Steels

    Stainless Steels

    Tool Steels

    Density (1000 kg/m3)7.857.857.75-8.17.72-8.0
    Elastic Modulus (GPa)190-210190-210190-210190-210
    Poisson's Ratio0.27-0.30.27-0.30.27-0.30.27-0.3
    Thermal Expansion (10-6/K)11-16.69.0-159.0-20.79.4-15.1
    Melting Point (°C)  1371-1454 
    Thermal Conductivity (W/m-K)24.3-65.226-48.611.2-36.719.9-48.3
    Specific Heat (J/kg-K)450-2081452-1499420-500 
    Electrical Resistivity (10-9W-m)130-1250210-125175.7-1020 
    Tensile Strength (MPa)276-1882758-1882515-827640-2000
    Yield Strength (MPa)186-758366-1793207-552380-440
    Percent Elongation (%)10-324-3112-405-25
    Hardness (Brinell 3000kg)86-388149-627137-595210-620


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