Examining Grades of Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel, Part 1

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Examining Grades of Hot-Rolled Carbon Steel, Part 1

grades hot-rolled carbon steel

If you’re looking for steel that’s strong in both tensile and shear strength, plus tough, hard and ductile, one of your best options – especially if price is a factor – is hot-rolled carbon steel. This is a metal allow made mostly of iron, plus a small amount of carbon that’s rolled down into it.

At Wasatch Steel, we’re here to provide a wide range of steel products and services to meet your every need. There are a huge variety of hot-rolled carbon steel grades available – how do you know which is right for your next project and what the differences are? This two-part blog will dig into all the primary grades of hot-rolled carbon steel to consider.


One of the most popular grades here is ASTM A36 steel, considered a low-carbon option that has a carbon content generally between 0.25% and 0.29% by weight. You might be wondering what the “36” in the designation stands for: It specifies the minimum yield tensile strength, which is 36,000 pounds per square inch (psi).

At this strength level, A36 steel is extremely machinable and weldable, with fantastic properties that make it so popular. It can be sold in round bar, square bar, rectangular bar, plate, round tube, and even shafting formats, among others.


A1011 is known as a versatile steel option, largely because it may contain very small amounts of other trace elements. For this reason, it’s often used in automotive body manufacturing, drum creation and several other metal fabrication areas. It’s usually found in flat sheet form, but can also be ordered in expanded metal form in many cases.


For a lower-carbon option on this list, A500 is a good place to look. Its maximum carbon content is 0.26% by weight, making it relatively similar to A36 in some ways – with a primary difference being that A500 is only used for tubing, while as we noted above, A36 can be found in a number of different shape formats. Applications are similar, however: Both these formats are used most often in structural applications.

C1010 and C1018

These are extremely similar hot-rolled steel options with extremely low carbon content – C1010 has a range of 0.08% to 0.13% carbon by weight, while C1018 contains between 0.14% and 0.20%. Both these formats are extremely weldable and machinable, and can be found in round bar and mesh sheet formats. They’re often used in the furniture and automotive industry for this reason, along with several other structural applications that require easy forming.

For more on the various grades available when it comes to hot-rolled carbon steel, or to learn about any of our steel bar, tube, plate or other products, speak to the staff at Wasatch Steel today.