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Home > Scrap General > Scrap Metal Commodities Reference - S > Steel


A form of iron containing less carbon than pig iron or cast iron but considerably more than wrought iron. Ordinary steel contains from .52% to 1.5% of carbon, and it was to such metals that the term "steel" was originally applied. The term, however, now has been extended to include "Mild Steel," which may contain from .1% to .5% of carbon, and, also, to the so-called metals, such as nickel, chromium, etc.
Ordinary steel contains small percentages of sulphur and phosphorus, but these impurities are usually kept to down to a limiting maximum of .05%.
"Hard" steel contains .9% approx of carbon. "Soft" steel contains .1% approx of carbon. "Medium" steel contains about .4% of carbon.
The properties of the different steels are very varied and cannot possibly be set down here. In general, however, steel may be given different characteristic's by various forms of heat and mechanical treatment, this making it one of the most useful and valuable alloys known to civilization.

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