Authoritative Answers, Fun, & Aloha -- no cost, no passwords, no popups
(as an eBay Partner & Amazon Affiliate we earn from qualifying purchases)

Home /
Site 🔍
pub     mobile?
Metal finishing Q&As since 1989


What is mild steel

I have been been asked to find out what mild steel is for my Design and Technology project. I am aged 12 so I don't need to go into intricate details. All I need to know is what it is. I have read some of the comments and I understand that it is low carbon... what does this mean (bear in mind I am only 12 years old)in my language? I need to know what is mild steel and what it is used for. Can anyone please help? I live with my mum but not my dad so she doesn't know much about it even though she has looked through library books as suggested.


Christian W.
- Gwent, Gwent, UK

If you melt iron ore in a very hot fire you can get iron, which is a strong but rather brittle construction material that has been known for millenia. If you are able to remove much of the carbon from the iron, purifying it so that you have only about 0.2 percent carbon left in the iron, you get low carbon or mild steel. This material is much easier and more practical to bend and form into shape than iron, and is stronger. Steel is used for everything from vegetable cans to automobile frames and sheet metal to columns and girders for buildings and bridges.

Ted Mooney,
Ted Mooney, P.E.
Striving to live Aloha - Pine Beach, New Jersey

Hi Christian,

What Ted says is right on ... one lowers the carbon content ... but these days one also has to lower the sulfur and phosphorus content. Why? Because these two contribute (I forget which way around) to cold and to hot cracking. Then thou hast steel ... or at least a malleable iron.

Ghent UK? I thought that Ghent was in Belgium !

freeman newton portrait
Freeman Newton [deceased]
(It is our sad duty to advise that Freeman passed away
April 21, 2012. R.I.P. old friend).


(No "dead threads" here! If this page isn't currently on the Hotline your Q, A, or Comment will restore it)

Q, A, or Comment on THIS thread -or- Start a NEW Thread

Disclaimer: It's not possible to fully diagnose a finishing problem or the hazards of an operation via these pages. All information presented is for general reference and does not represent a professional opinion nor the policy of an author's employer. The internet is largely anonymous & unvetted; some names may be fictitious and some recommendations might be harmful.

If you are seeking a product or service related to metal finishing, please check these Directories:

Chemicals &
& Software

About/Contact  -  Privacy Policy  -  ©1995-2024, Pine Beach, New Jersey, USA  -  about "affil links"