Low carbon steel

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Steel is an alloy of iron with a small percentage of carbon. The amount of carbon present changes the iron from a soft easily worked metal into an extremely hard brittle metal. Low carbon also called mild or soft steel contains less than 0.3% carbon. It will work well when heated to redness and can be easily cast. Soft steel is used in construction and as a substitute for wrought iron.

See also carbon steel.

Synonyms and Related Terms

low-carbon steel; ingot iron; soft steel; mild steel; cast steel; structural steel; acier à basse teneur en carbone (Fr.); laag koolstof staal (Ned.); aço carbono (Port.)


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  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Richard S. Lewis, Hawley's Condensed Chemical Dictionary, Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 10th ed., 1993
  • Dictionary of Building Preservation, Ward Bucher, ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc., New York City, 1996
  • Henry Hodges, Artifacts: An Introduction to Early Materials and Technology, Ronald P. Frye, Kingston, Canada, 1988

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