BlackAnnealedSteelWireIn many of our steel products, you will see a “Carbon Range” specification. This page is intended to clarify the difference between high-carbon and low-carbon steel wire.

The carbon content is what gives steel its strength. Generally speaking, a carbon content rating of 1050 and above refers to high-carbon steel; the higher the carbon content rating number, the stronger the wire. With increased tensile strength, however, comes less malleability, making higher carbon wires more difficult to bend and shape to form, and sometimes more brittle. Heat and oil treatment of the wire can help alleviate some of these issues. High carbon steel wire is best suited for high-stress applications like springs that must endure repeated heavy loads.

When a wire has a carbon content rating below 1050, it is considered low-carbon steel. This type of wire is easier to shape into springs and wire forms, but it is not as strong as high-carbon steel. This makes it unsuitable for higher stress loads, but well-suited for a wide range of other applications, from low-impact springs to coat hangers and more.

Madison Steel offers a wide variety of both high-carbon and low-carbon steel wire in various tensile strengths and diameters. As a global supplier of steel products, we offer direct-from-manufacturer volume purchases at highly competitive prices. Whether you need steel wire, recycled steel scrap, PC strand or other steel products, we have the resources to secure what you need at affordable prices, and the logistics to make sure it is delivered to you on time. Call us at 404-343-4855 to learn more.

High / Low Carbon Steel

Madison Steel is a global supplier of steel wire and related products servicing a variety of industries, and headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia. Working in conjunction with over 30 manufacturers both domestically and abroad, Madison Steel provides you with access to some of the most consistent, proven wire mills and wire products in the world.  Low carbon wire, Low carbon steel wire has < 0.20% carbon content. This is a general purpose manufacturing wire suitable for a large range of applications. This type of material has good formability, will take moderate bending or flattening, and can be roll threaded. What is high carbon wire? High carbon steel wire is popularly known as black wire. It is a drawn steel wire which is manufactured from quality wire rods with high carbon content. With a wide range of usage, black wire plays a vital role in many industries from automobile and construction to engineering industries. What is low carbon steel? What Is Low-Carbon Steel? Low-carbon steel is characterized by a low ratio of carbon to iron. By definition, low-carbon consists of less than 0.30% of carbon. Also known as mild steel, it costs less to produce than both medium-carbon and high-carbon steel. What is high carbon steel used for? High-carbon steel wires used for bridge cables, tire reinforcement materials and cutting materials of silicon ingot for photovoltaic industry require an extremely fine diameter and high strength. What is low carbon steel used for?  Low-carbon steels contain less carbon than other steels and are easier to cold-form, making them easier to handle. Typical applications of low carbon steel are car parts, pipes, construction, and food cans