Classification of various steel grades by their composition and properties has been developed over many years by a number of standards
development organizations (SDOs) such as European EN, US ASTM and AISI steel grades, Japanese JIS, Chinese GB, International ISO etc.
Generally, all metals can be classified into groups such as ferrous, non-ferrous and alloys:
Based on carbon content, steel grades are often divided into three main groups:
- Chemical composition, such as carbon, low-alloy or stainless steel grades
- Manufacturing methods, such as open hearth, basic oxygen process, or electric furnace methods
- Finishing process, such as steel grades for hot rolled or cold rolled products
- Product form, for example bar plate, sheet, strip, tubing or structural shape
- Deoxidation practice, such as killed, semi-killed, capped or rimmed steel grades
- Microstructure, such as ferritic, pearlitic and martensitic steel grades
- Required strength level, for example steel grade A240 Grade C specified in ASTM standards has the tensile stress value between 515 and 655 MPa
- Heat treatment performed, such as annealing, quenching and tempering, and thermomechanical processing.
On the other hand, according to European classification, steel grades are divided into the following groups:
- low carbon steel grades, such as AISI1005 to AISI 1026, IF, HSLA, TRIP, and TWIP steels,
- middle carbon steel grades, for example AISI 1029 to AISI 1053, and
- high carbon steel grades, such as AISI1055 to AISI1095.
- non alloy steel grades, such as EN DC01-DC06; S235; S275, etc.,
- alloy steel grades, like 2CrMo4 and 25CrMo4,
- stainless steel grades,
- tool steel grades, for example EN 1.1545; AISI/SAE W110; EN 1.2436, AISI/SAE D6,
- steel grades for sheet and strip, and
- steel grades for electrical sheet and strip, like EN 1.0890 and EN 1.0803.
Sometimes a particular grade may have different properties as defined by various standards. For example, steel grade 34CrMo4 is specified by both DIN and EN. Within EN there are 6 different specifications (sub-groups) while the DIN standard reports 10 different specifications. These steel specifications report a variation for tensile properties up to three fold due to the various thermo-mechanical treatments.
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