Mild Steel

At metals4U, we are one of the leading steel suppliers in the UK with over 20 years’ experience in the industry. You will find a range of mild steel products in our collection, including I beams, angle, box, channel, tubing, mesh, and sheet. We are the trusted steel suppliers for tradespeople, contractors, and keen hobbyists around the UK, always delivering on quality and value. There are no limitations when it comes to our mild steel collection; our products can be used for construction, machinery, pipelines, gates and fencing, and more.

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Mild Steel FAQs

  • What is mild steel?

    Mild steel is steel made from iron and carbon. It contains very little carbon - the amount typically ranges between 0.16% and 0.29%. It’s a very commonly used steel, which is a result of its great weldability and machinability. It’s also much cheaper in comparison to other steels, which is mainly because it doesn’t consist of many other elements. It is an ideal material for a number of industries, including pipeline and fencing manufacturing.

  • What are the properties of mild steel?

    Mild steel comes with a number of both chemical and physical properties. The most notable are:

    Chemical properties:

    • Carbon content between 0.16% and 0.29% maximum
    • High melting point of between 1450°C to 1520°C
    • It has few elements included in its composition, so it has less tensile strength than other steels
    • However, some elements can be added to improve the chemical properties of mild steel. These include chromium, manganese, phosphorus, sulphur and cobalt

    Physical properties:

    • Low tensile strength - it is a ductile material so it will stretch a small amount and then shrink at the point where the stress is greatest
    • Good ductility - it can be deformed and shaped without losing its toughness
    • Great weldability - it is one of the most weldable metals
    • Magnetic - due to its high iron content
    • High resistance to breakage even when cold, due to its low carbon content - under high pressure, it will not break but instead deform or bend
    • Easily machinable - due to its low carbon content. It can be cut, machined and formed into different shapes without stress
    • Affordable - due to its lack of other elements
    • Very susceptible to corrosion when exposed to oxygen and moisture
  • What is mild steel used for?

    Mild steel is used for various purposes, including:

    • Structural steel - due to its consistent yield strength and ease in shaping
    • Steel frame buildings - its high strength makes it good for building framework
    • Machinery parts - its malleability is ideal for creating machinery elements
    • Metal gates and fencing - its strength and its ability to be visually appealing is useful for metal gates and fences
    • Pipelines - due to excellent ductility of mild steel tubes, the pipes will be easily weldable yet flexible enough to not break under pressure
    • Cookware - because of its ability to stay sharper for longer, its higher temperature and its transformation to a non-stick material when seasoned
  • Can mild steel be welded?

    Mild steel can certainly be welded. In fact, welding is ideal for mild steel because it is low carbon - the higher the carbon content, the more difficult it is to weld. There are two types of welding processes for mild steel:

    • MIG welding - where an electrical arc forms between a wire electrode and the workpiece, which heats the metals and causes them to melt and join together
    • Arc welding - where a welding power supply is used to create an arc between an electrode and the base material to melt the metals at the point of contact
  • Can mild steel be hardened?

    Due to its low carbon property, mild steel cannot be hardened. It can, however, be case hardened. This is done by diffusing carbon into the outer layer of the steel at a high temperature, then heat treating the surface layer to its desired hardness.

  • Can mild steel rust?

    Yes, mild steel rusts as the iron reacts with the moisture in the air. This can be less likely if it is treated with a protective coating that can prevent the steel from corroding. Corrosion resistance can also be improved by introducing certain elements to mild steel, including molybdenum, titanium and chromium.

  • Can mild steel be extruded?

    Yes, mild steel can be extruded. Doing so involves pushing a flow of molten metal through a die and into a cross-section through a cylindrical billet. The parts will then be cast and extruded, so are pushed out by means of a hydraulic or mechanical press.

  • Can mild steel be powder coated?

    Yes, mild steel can be powder coated. This process consists of applying dry coating to it through an electrostatic process, and then baking it in a curing oven, resulting in a smooth coating.

  • Can mild steel be die casted?

    Non-ferrous metals are most suitable for die casting. As mild steel contains iron, it is a ferrous metal, which means it has a likelihood of rusting. This makes it possible to be die casted, but generally uncommon.

Order your mild steel from metals4U.

To find out more about mild steel, read our in-depth technical guide on mild steel.