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Difference Between Alloy Steel Flanges v/s Carbon Steel Flanges

Carbon steel and alloy steel are different kinds of material grades for flanges, although both are extremely common. Alloy steel comes with a variety of elements depending upon future applications.

Carbon steel is also known as iron-carbon alloy contains less than 2% carbon WC. It usually contains small amounts of carbon, phosphorus, sulfur, manganese, and silicon in the mix.

In the case of alloy steel, elements like molybdenum, manganese, chromium, nickel, vanadium, silicon, and boron are used to form a different chemical composition. Generally, alloy steels are of the higher nickel variety and the term is used to distinguish them from regular stainless or low chrome materials.

Alloy steel

Alloying improves the mechanical properties of steel. The variety of elements used helps to improve future applications. Every steel is an alloy but not all steel is referred to alloy steel.

However, the term alloy steel is the standard term that refers to steel with other elements added deliberately in addition to vanadium, silicon, boron, molybdenum, manganese, chromium, nickel, and other elements.

The less common alloy elements include aluminum, cobalt, copper, cerium, niobium, titanium, tungsten, tin, zinc, lead, and zirconium, etc. The alloyed steels have improved properties, like strength, hardness, toughness, wear resistance, corrosion resistance, hot hardness, and hardenability.

Uses and application of Alloy steel

Alloy steels flanges come in a broad range of applications.  Low alloy steel has applications in a wide range of industries due to its cost-effectiveness. It has applications in military vehicles, construction equipment, ships, pipelines, pressure vessels, and oil drilling platforms.

High alloy steels are widely applied in various applications due to their structural components, automotive applications, chemical processing equipment, corrosion resistance, and superior hardness.

Advantages of Alloy steel

Here are some advantages of alloy steel

1. Corrosion resistance

2. Powerful parts

3. Efficient at high temperature

4. Heat dissipation properties

5. Durable

6. Tough

7. Lightweight

8. High tensile strength

Carbon steel

Carbon steel is a special type of steel with a higher concentration of carbon compared to regular iron. Carbon steel with carbon components less than 0.30% is categorized as low or mild carbon steel, carbon steel with carbon components between 0.30% to 0.60% is considered medium carbon steel, and carbon steel with high carbon components more than 0.60% is known as high carbon steel.

The use of high-carbon steel is usually for tools and knives. Though low carbon steel is more common compared to high-carbon steel because of its greater ductility, easy use, and low production cost.

Uses and application of Carbon steel

Carbon steel flanges are one of the most preferable materials used in fields where higher strength is required. Many types of carbon steel pipes come with a wide range of applications in various industries. Low-carbon steel has applications like automobile components, pipes, construction components, bridge components, containers/cans, etc.

Medium carbon steel is usually useful in machinery parts, gears, railway tracks, train wheels, and crankshafts that require higher strength and toughness. High carbon steel has applications in shear blades, cold setts, punches, rock drills, hand tools, cold chisels, band saws, anvil faces, hammers, wrenches, car bumpers, small forgings, cable wire, large dies for cold presses, cutting tools, high strength wires, and springs.

Advantages of carbon steel

Here are some advantages of carbon steel

1. Good strength

2. Good ductility

3. Durable

4. Safe to process

5. Economical / Budget friendly

6. Healthy and long-lasting for cookware

7. Environment friendly


There are many types of steel within the groups of alloy steel and carbon steel. As the name shows, alloy steel is the category of steel formed by adding various other elements to the steel through metallurgy and heat treatment. On the other hand, carbon steel is steel with carbon as the accompanying component. It also usually does not require any minimum percentage of other elements.

Carbon steel is the type of steel predominantly used in the US for most basic applications when compared to alloy steel, which is found in more chemically sensitive and temperature-elevated services.

In the above comparison, we hope you’ve understood the difference between carbon steel and alloy steel and their uses. This guide will help you identify the key things if you are stuck between selecting the two flanges. To learn more about flange basics, visit

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