What is Mild Steel?

Mild steel has been in demand due to its excellent properties and resistance power. However, steel is strong but bends conveniently into any shape and design to meet your requirement. That’s why mild steel is widely accepted in various industries. 

So, let’s learn about the form of steel, how it is made, its common components, and its various applications in detail. 

All About Mild Steel


What Is Mild Steel?

Mild steel has a low carbon amount compared to other forms of steel. That’s why this is also called “Low carbon steel.” TheThe amount of carbon in this steel is less than 0.21% by weight. The other form of steel has more than 0.30% of carbon. As it has low carbon, mild steel is easy to weld and bent and has tensile properties compared to regular cast steel. 

Mild steel doesn’t contain any other elements such as chromium, iron, and molybdenum; this doesn’t consider an alloy. And this is the reason why mild steel has different properties than that alloy and cast steel. Also, carbon can vary based on the client’s requirements. 

However, other elements are included in the steel to improve its tensile strength, resistivity, and corrosion resistance. The hardness of the surface is achieved by carburizing. It also helps to improve tensile strength. 

How is Mild/Low Carbon Steel Made?

The procedure of making mild steel is similar to what industries follow for regular steel; the exception is low carbon content. There are four steps to be followed to make mild steel out of iron.

1. Primary Steel Making 

Foremost, iron is mixed with lime, coal, and heat into the furnace. The lime makes a protective layer on the metal and acts as a flux. The process uses an electric arc furnace and a basic oxygen furnace process. In the basic oxygen furnace, oxygen is supplied to the molten iron, and at the same time, scrap steel is added, which reduces the carbon content to 1.5. 

2. Secondary Steel Process 

In this process, carbon content is further reduced to 1.5% by adding alloy elements. The cooling rate and temperature are also manipulated to achieve the desired consistency during this process. 

3. Primary Forming and Casting

Once the carbon content has been specified and other elements added to improve the performance, the molten steel is then transferred into the molds. The process is known as the casting process. In the casting process, the desired shape is given to the steel and helps to solidify. 

When steel gets set properly into the mold, metal is cut into the desired shapes, such as blooms, slabs, and billets. The finalized product is further imparted from casting defects.

4. Secondary Forming 

Secondary forming is the final process where the ideal shape is provided to the steel. The forming process includes the following:

  • Machining 
  • Shaping with cold rolling
  • Coating and tempering
  • Surface treatment, etc

What is the Chemical Composition of Mild Steel?

Mild steel is a form of simple steel with low carbon content which doesn’t exceed more than 0.25%. Steel also constitutes other elements, such as chromium, cobalt, copper, phosphorus, sulfur, nickel, manganese, molybdenum, etc. Metals are added to improve its resistance power, and copper is added in limited quantities. 

Carbon0.14% to 0.20%
Sulfur<= 0.05%
Manganese0.60% to 0.90%
Iron98.81% to 99.26%
Phosphorus<= 0.04%

Common Applications of Mild Steel

Mild steel has been used in various industrial sectors to design different products such as:

1. Structural Steel 

Mild steel is used in making structural steel and is also involved in fabrication and easy to convert into different shapes and is highly cost-effective.

2. Decorations 

Mild steel has a low carbon and is easy to weld and mold, so it can be used to make different decoration items. Whether you are painting frames, watches, or other vasa, you get so many decorative items designed with mild steel. 

3. Automobiles 

Mild steel has high malleability and ductility properties, due to which it can be drawn into different sheets and shapes. That’s why mild steel is widely used in making automobile parts. 

4. Furniture 

Mild steel can be used to make furniture pieces, including chairs, tables, and other furniture forms. Moreover, these days’ doors are also made with mild steel. 

5. Wires 

Mild steel is ductile, so you can easily draw it into any shape and design without compromising the quality and texture of the steel. 

6. Nails

Today most of the nails are made with mild steel. Even nuts and bolts used in assembling two different metal parts are made with mild steel. 

7. Fencing 

Mild steel nowadays is also used in making fencings because it can withstand extreme environmental conditions giving it extra stability and strength. 

8. Construction 

A lot of construction sites use steel materials such as girdles. Scaffoldings used at construction sites are also made of mild steel.

9. Pipes and Poles

Pipes and poles used at the construction site and various commercial places are also made using mild steel. 

10. Cutlery and Cookware 

Cutlery and cookware are made with stainless steel and mild steel due to their high resistance to temperature and corrosion. 

What is the Density of Mild Steel?

Mild steel has low carbon, due to which it shows high resistivity and has high density too. The density of the mild steel is 0.248 lbs per sq inches which is why it has high tensile strength and has greater impact. It is malleable enough to draw into any form when the steel is cold. 

What Are the Chemical Properties Of Mild Steel?

Mild steel contains less than 0.25% carbon making it extremely hard. It has excellent weldable properties and doesn’t get oxidized easily. However, in pure form, it gets oxidized. Therefore, mild steel may be galvanized to improve tensile strength. 

Moreover, a dense chromium metal layer is added to prevent corrosion attacks. Metals like phosphorus, cobalt, chromium, sulfur, molybdenum, and manganese are added to prevent rusting and improve tensile strength and high heat resistance. 

What Are the Physical Properties Of Mild Steel? 

As discussed above, mild steel has low carbon, making it extremely hard. But still, it shows some of the greatest physical properties of the mild steel, which are as follows: 

1. Machinable and Weldable

Mild steel has high Machinable properties, due to which you can easily cut it into any shape and design. Moreover, the mild steel is easily weldable, which allows you to join two different pieces together. 

2. Affordable 

Mild steel has a low carbon and another element, making it the most affordable form of steel. Due to its affordability, mild steel has been practiced in various industries. 

3. Ductile 

Mild steel has high ductibility, due to which you can convert them into thin wires and mold them into any design and shape. It is 50% more ductile in comparison to another form. 

4. Magnetic 

Mild steel has high ferrous and low carbon, so it has high magnetic properties. This is why mild steel, also known as ferromagnetic and suitable for making various engineering applications. 

Grades in Mild Steel

Here are some of the common grades of mild steel: 

EN 1.0301 

Mild steel contains carbon of around 0.1%, silicon 0.4%, manganese 0.4%, and other forms of content such as nickel, copper, aluminum, molybdenum, sulfur, and more. This grade has weldable, ductile, malleable, and machining properties. 

The grade is commonly used in forges, extruded, cold headed, and primarily used in furniture, equipment, and other appliances. 

EN 1.1121 

EN 1.1121 mild steel has carbon amounts ranging from 0.8% to 0.13%. Moreover, it also contains manganese, around 0.3% to 0.6%. Mild steel is used in the manufacturing of nuts and bolts. It has high elasticity and formability properties, so it is used in manufacturing different forms of products.

It also has a weldable property which further adds strength to mold in any shape and design. This grade is usually used in the automotive industry and various steel manufacturing industries

Difference between Stainless Steel and Mild Steel

The difference between stainless steel and mild steel are as follows: 

  • Stainless steel has iron and chromium as the major part, and mild steel has carbon and iron only. This is why stainless steel has high resistance to rusting compared to mild steel.
  • Mild steel has high malleability, so it is used in fabrication and other industries. On the other hand, stainless steel is generally hard in nature, so it is not used in the fabrication process. 
  • Stainless steel has high corrosion resistance and alloy, so it is more expensive than mild steel.
  • Mild steel is comparatively less brittle than that stainless steel. Due to this property, you can mold it into any shape and design. Stainless steel tends to break down easily when hammered with a higher impact. 
  • Stainless steel is generally stronger because it contains chromium, which enhances its rigidity. On the other hand, mild steel is not stronger because it doesn’t contain any additional alloy element to enhance the rigidity.
  • Stainless steel is very challenging when it comes to welding. But mild steel can be easily welded to redesign and connect with other steel joints. 
  • Mild steel is also known as ferromagnetic steel as it shows high magnetic power. But stainless steel doesn’t have such magnetic properties. However, it can be magnetized by increasing the iron content. 

Can You Galvanize Mild Steel?

You can galvanize the mild steel with a zinc coating to add an extra protective layer. However, galvanization is only necessary when the top layer gets damaged or has scratches on the top.

It helps to protect it from rusting and other oxidative damage. Moreover, galvanization is necessary only if you use raw steel that can easily rust when exposed to the outer environment. 

Mild Steel Surface Finishing

Mild steel surface finishing can be done by using the following methods. 

1. Priming 

The process involves painting the steel with paint having zinc phosphate. This coating acts as a rusting shield and protects the steel from corrosion damage. The zinc forms anodes on the steel surface.

Foremost hydrolyzation of the water takes place to start producing phosphate ions and zinc. The zinc ions will act as a cathodic inhibitor, and phosphate ions will act as an anodic inhibitor. As a result, it makes a strong coating on the steel surface. 

2. Galvanizing 

This process involves dipping the mild steel into the hot molten zinc. The zinc will then react with mild steel, and when it cools down, it makes an additional layer of zinc carbonate on the top. However, the base metal doesn’t expose the outer environment and other elements. 

Also, the zinc layer, which is galvanized, will act as a sacrificial safety layer, which means it starts corroding at first glance, but once it erodes, it forms a tough shield of zinc that prevents further corrosion. 

3. Intumescent Coating 

The coating is similar to the paint. Due to its extreme chemical reaction at a high temperature, it works as insulation covering around 200⁰C to 250⁰C. However, the high temperature doesn’t influence steel. There are two forms of coating done on the steel. 

  • A thin-film coating
  • A thick film coating 

The thin-film coating is solvent-based, and the thick film coating is generally developed for off-shore industries and hydrocarbons. 

Pros & Cons of Using Mild Steel

Pros :

  • Mild steel is easy to weld, so you can redesign it by joining different pieces. 
  • Mild steel is affordable compared to stainless steel or other forms of steel.
  • Mild steel is easy to recycle and can be drawn into any shape and design
  • Mild steel is ductile and malleable as compared to the other form of steel
  • Mild steel is used in the different steel industry


  • Mild steel cannot tolerate the heat treatment
  • It deforms easily and is not able to bear high pressure


What is the other name for low-carbon steel?

Mild steel is the other name for low-carbon steel. 

How is mild steel different from high and medium-carbon steel?

It has low carbon, only around 0.5% to 0.25%. However, the carbon content is more than 0.30% in another form of steel. 

What is the carbon percentage in low-carbon steel?

In low-carbon steel, the carbon is less than 0.25%. 

What is the carbon percentage in medium carbon steel?

In medium carbon steel, the percentage of carbon is around 0.25% to 0.35%. 

Can you harden mild steel?

Yes, you can harden the mild steel by adding more layers of zinc and chromium. 

Is mild steel stronger than stainless steel?

No, mild steel is not as strong as stainless steel. 

Mild steel is alloy steel or pure metal?

Mild steel is an alloy but has less quantity of elements than stainless steel.


So, this is all about mild steel and its various physical and chemical properties. Now, you have the answer of “Is mild steel stronger than stainless steel.” Mild steel shows excellent ductility and malleable and weldable properties, due to which it can be easily drawn into any shape and design.

However, mild steel has excellent properties but is still not stronger than stainless steel because it has low carbon and alloys compared to stainless steel. 

Ayush Badhoni

Hi, This is Ayush Badhoni a passionate blogger from India, loves in researching and writing on various topics like home appliances, gadgets, beauty e.t.c I love to review products and give the best to my readers.

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