eFunda: General Information on Carbon Steels
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General Information
Carbon steels are steels whose alloying elements do not exceed the following limits:
ElementMax weight %
C1.00
Cu0.60
Mn1.65
P0.40
Si0.60
S0.05
Designation
Carbon steels are designated by distinct AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) four-digit numbers. The first two digits indicate the grades of the steels, while the last two digits give the nominal carbon content of the alloy in hundredths of a percent. Here is an example:
 XX :0.xx% average carbon content
 
AISI 1060 
  
10 :Nonresulfurized grades
11 :Resulfurized grades
12 :Resulfurized and rephosphorized grades
15 :Nonsulfurized grades; max Mn content > 1%

If a letter L or B shows up between the second and third digits of an AISI number, it means that this grade is either a Leaded steel or a Boron steel; Sometimes a suffix H is attached to a AISI number to indicate that the steel has been produced to prescribed hardenability limits. Examples are:

Leaded steels :AISI 12L14, AISI 12L15...
Boron steels :AISI 15B48H...
H-steels :AISI 1038H, AISI 15B48H...
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