Whatever industry you’re in, construction projects you’re undertaking or DIY jobs you’re trying to complete, metalworkers of every experience level need to know their high yield from their mild steel. When it comes to choosing different metals for practical, structural or even decorative applications, there’s often a lot more than meets the eye...

From strength and hardness to carbon composition and workability, having a precise knowledge of the types of metals you’re weighing up will guarantee that every aspect of your latest metalworking project goes as smoothly as possible, while yielding the highest results available. 

In our latest blog, Austen Knapman tests the mettle of high yield and mild steel materials, giving you the lowdown on which variations will suit your exact requirements as well as all the vital differences you need to bear in mind.

What Is Mild Steel?

Mild steel is defined by its low carbon content and is often referred to as “low carbon steel”. Mild steel is a ferrous metal made up of a largely iron rich composition with small amounts of carbon added to make the metal both stronger and harder. In terms of physical properties, it’s malleable, ductile and therefore very versatile and easy to work with, while often being preferable to other types of steel due to its low carbon composition.

Mild Steel Round Bar

At Austen Knapman we offer a range of mild steel products, including this Mild Steel Round Bar, suitable for a wide range of commercial, domestic, industrial, DIY and garden uses. This round bar delivers great strength and shaping abilities with additional properties that make it easy to work, drill, cut to size and weld. 

What Is High Yield Steel?

High yield steel is engineered to be stronger and more durable than mild steel owing to its higher carbon content. High yield steel is also reinforced with additional alloys, such as the likes of chromium or manganese, which also contribute to increased hardness and a high practical resistance to abrasion and corrosion. The higher carbon content also makes high yield steel easier to work with than mild steel.

High Yield Steel Rebar

Our 500 grade high yield steel rebar boasts tensile strength in a wide range of construction industry applications such as in reinforcing structural masonry and counteracting poor tensile strength of cast concrete.

What Are The Key Differences Between High Yield Steel & Mild Steel?

The main physical differences are in the individual chemical makeups of these types of steel. The practical differences rendered from the varying carbon levels reveal which material you need to go for.

Typically, mild steel is used in more broad or general metalwork applications where factors such as high strength and hardness aren’t hugely important but assets like workability and weldability are paramount. If your project requires a lot of shaping, bending, machining and general working and reworking, then mild steel is the one for you. It’s also a more affordable option to consider and will suit environments that aren’t too harsh, corrosive or physically taxing on the metalwork.

Alternatively, high yield steel is more suited to metalwork projects that have particularly demanding requirements. For example, high yield steel is best served in constructions or equipment that will be exposed to regular wear, excessive use, corrosive conditions or even in situations where there is a high likelihood of damage. The combination of higher carbon content and additional alloys contribute to the greater cost of high yield steel, but these vital compositional changes will ensure that when your metalwork is put to the test it won’t let you down.

Post By Ed Mason