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ASTM A36 (SS400, S275) Structural Carbon Steel

ASTM A36 carbon steel is a carbon (non-alloy) steel formulated for primary forming into wrought products. It is typically furnished in the as-fabricated (no temper or treatment) condition. It has a fairly low base cost relative to other wrought carbon or non-alloy steels in the database.

The graph bars on the material properties cards below compare ASTM A36 carbon steel to: wrought carbon or non-alloy steels (top), all iron alloys (middle), and the entire database (bottom). The length of each bar shows the given value as a % of the largest value in the relevant set.

Mechanical Properties

Elastic (Young's, Tensile) Modulus

190 GPa 27 x 106 psi

Elongation at Break

22 %

Fatigue Strength

200 MPa 29 x 103 psi

Poisson's Ratio


Shear Modulus

73 GPa 11 x 106 psi

Shear Strength

300 MPa 44 x 103 psi

Tensile Strength: Ultimate (UTS)

480 MPa 69 x 103 psi

Tensile Strength: Yield (Proof)

290 MPa 41 x 103 psi

Thermal Properties

Melting Completion (Liquidus)

1460 °C 2670 °F

Melting Onset (Solidus)

1420 °C 2590 °F

Specific Heat Capacity

470 J/kg-K 0.11 BTU/lb-°F

Thermal Conductivity

50 W/m-K 29 BTU/h-ft-°F

Thermal Expansion

11 µm/m-K

Electrical Properties

Electrical Conductivity: Equal Volume

12 % IACS

Electrical Conductivity: Equal Weight (Specific)

14 % IACS

Otherwise Unclassified Properties

Base Metal Price

1.7 % relative


7.9 g/cm3 490 lb/ft3

Embodied Carbon

1.4 kg CO2/kg material

Embodied Energy

18 MJ/kg 7.8 x 103 BTU/lb

Embodied Water

44 L/kg 5.3 gal/lb

Common Calculations

Resilience: Ultimate (Unit Rupture Work)

92 MJ/m3

Resilience: Unit (Modulus of Resilience)

220 kJ/m3

Stiffness to Weight: Axial

13 points

Stiffness to Weight: Bending

24 points

Strength to Weight: Axial

17 points

Strength to Weight: Bending

17 points

Thermal Diffusivity

14 m2/s

Thermal Shock Resistance

16 points

Alloy Composition

Iron (Fe) 99.25 to 100
Silicon (Si) 0 to 0.4
Carbon (C) 0 to 0.26
Sulfur (S) 0 to 0.050
Phosphorus (P) 0 to 0.040

All values are % weight. Ranges represent what is permitted under applicable standards.

Followup Questions

Similar Alloys

Further Reading

ASTM A36: Standard Specification for Carbon Structural Steel

ASM Specialty Handbook: Carbon and Alloy Steels, J. R. Davis (editor), 1996

Ferrous Materials: Steel and Cast Iron, Hans Berns and Werner Theisen, 2008

Steels: Processing, Structure, and Performance, 2nd ed., George Krauss, 2015