Carbon steel, the backbone of the manufacturing industry, is an iron and carbon alloy. Its versatility and affordability make it a go-to material for countless applications, from bridges and buildings to tools and appliances. But have you ever stopped to wonder about the weight of this ubiquitous metal? Today, we delve into the fascinating world of carbon steel density, exploring its intricacies and impact on the material’s properties.

What is Carbon Steel?

Carbon steel is an iron-based alloy containing varying amounts of carbon (usually between 0.15% and 2.0%). This seemingly small addition of carbon has a profound effect on the metal’s properties, making it stronger and harder than pure iron. Depending on the carbon content, carbon steel can be further classified as low-, medium-, or high-carbon steel, each with unique characteristics.

What is the Carbon Steel Density in kg/m3, g/cm3, lb/in3

The density of carbon steel is 7850 kg/m³ or 7.85 g/cm³ (0.284 lb/in³). This value isn’t fixed, however, and can vary slightly from 7.75 g/cm3 (0.282 lb/in3) to 8.05 g/cm3 (0.291 lb/in3) depending on the specific type of carbon steel and the presence of other alloying elements. For example, high-carbon steel tends to be slightly denser than low-carbon steel.

Density Low Carbon Steel Chart

The density of low carbon steel can vary slightly depending on the specific grade and composition, but it typically falls within the range of 7.75 g/cm³ to 8.05 g/cm³ (0.282 lb/in³ to 0.291 lb/in³).

Here is a table showing the densities of some common low carbon steel grades:

GradeDensity (g/cm³)Density (lb/in³)
AISI 10057.850.282
AISI 10067.850.282
AISI 10087.850.282
AISI 10107.850.282
AISI 10117.850.282
AISI 10127.850.282
AISI 10137.850.282
AISI 10157.850.282
AISI 10167.850.282
AISI 10177.850.282
AISI 10187.850.282
AISI 10197.850.282
AISI 10207.850.282
AISI 10217.850.282
AISI 10227.850.282
AISI 10237.850.282
AISI 10257.850.282
AISI 10267.850.282
AISI 11107.830.281
AISI 11177.830.281
AISI 11187.830.281

Density High Carbon Steel Chart

The density of high carbon steel can vary depending on the specific grade and composition, but it generally falls within the range of 7.75 to 8.05 g/cm³ (0.282 to 0.291 lb/in³). This is slightly higher than the density of pure iron, which is about 7.85 g/cm³.

Here is a table that shows the densities of some common high carbon steel grades:

GradeCarbon Content (%)Density (g/cm³)Density (lb/in³)
AISI 10800.75-1.007.80-7.850.281-0.282
AISI 10950.90-1.207.80-7.850.281-0.282
AISI W11.00-1.307.80-7.850.281-0.282
AISI O11.15-1.357.80-7.850.281-0.282

Difference Between Carbon Steel and Stainless Steel

Physical FeaturesStainless SteelCarbon Steel
Melting PointThe melting point of stainless steel varies between 1375 to 1530 Deg C, which is less than carbon steel.Typically, Low Carbon Steel has a melting point of 1410 Deg C. The melting point of high Carbon steel ranges between 1425-1540 Deg C, which is greater than stainless steel.
Average DensityThe average Density of Stainless Steel is 8000 Kg/m3, which is slightly heavier than Carbon Steel.The average Density of Carbon Steel is 7850 Kg/m3, which is less than stainless steel.
Co-Efficient of Linear Thermal ExpansionDepending on grade, the coefficient varies in the range of (10-17.3) X10-6 m/ (m °C). The expansion coefficient of Stainless Steel is comparatively more than that of Carbon Steel.The thermal expansion coefficient for carbon steel varies in the range of (10.8 – 12.5) X 10-6 m/ (m °C). This is generally less than stainless steel.

How Does Density Affect Carbon Steel Properties?

Density plays a crucial role in determining several key properties of carbon steel:

  • Strength-to-weight ratio: Carbon steel’s high density, coupled with its inherent strength, makes it a material with an excellent strength-to-weight ratio. This means you can achieve the required strength without adding excessive weight, making it ideal for applications like aircraft construction.
  • Corrosion resistance: While not as corrosion-resistant as stainless steel, carbon steel’s density contributes to its ability to form a protective oxide layer on its surface. This layer helps resist corrosion in certain environments.
  • Machinability: Density also influences the machinability of carbon steel. Its relative softness compared to other metals like titanium makes it easier to machine and shape into desired forms.


In conclusion, the density of carbon steel significantly influences various properties, including strength-to-weight ratio, malleability, ductility, electrical conductivity, heat capacity, and thermal expansion rate. A comprehensive understanding of these factors empowers engineers and designers engaged in diverse applications, such as automotive components or construction materials. This knowledge enables them to make informed decisions about the most suitable grade or type of carbon steel for their specific requirements, considering both cost considerations and performance criteria tailored to each application area. Armed with this understanding, engineers and designers can make well-informed choices in selecting the appropriate grade or type of carbon steel for their projects, balancing cost considerations with the performance requirements specified for each application area where this material may be utilized.

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