4 Common Steel Grades Explained

steel grades testing rockwell
Hascall News
4 Common Steel Grades Explained
Steel Information
July 12, 2017

If you work in the steel industry, you understand that there are all sorts of varieties of steel used for a myriad of applications. Because of these varying applications and products, steel’s HARDNESS (as measured on the ROCKWELL SCALE) should fit the needs of the finished product. To find the best fit for the job, steel is generally categorized into four main grades of steel for buyers to purchase. These grades are determined by the overall hardness of the steel and manufacturers can select the grades based on which type of product and application the steel will be used for.

Commercial Steel (CS/CQ) Typical Rb range 40-65

Commercial Steel represents the most common quality of steel that is mainly used for flat applications. Buyers looking for steel that requires little to no draw or bend would consider commercial steel a good option. Drawability is essentially the formability or structural softness of steel. If you were to think of bending or shaping steel, the harder that steel is (or the higher the Rockwell) the sturdier the steel will be. Many commercial products used in the automotive and furniture industry are manufactured from commercial grade steel.

Drawing Steel (DS)  Typical Rb range 35/50

As you’d imagine, drawing steel is regarded as having a higher drawability than commercial grades. Drawing steel is a softer steel that typically contains less than .05 percent carbon. If a customer’s product needed the ability to be moderately bent or shaped in the manufacturing process, then drawing would be a suitable choice.

Deep Drawing Steel (DDS)  Typical Rb range 25/40

Deep drawing steel is reserved for fairly severe drawing applications. An example of deep drawing steel would be the softness of an aluminum can and how easily formable it is. The process of deep drawing is to radically draw into a sheet metal blank with a forming die through a fast and hard punch or hit made by a machine. This transforms the shape through material retention. The process is considered “deep drawing” when the depth of the part that’s drawn exceeds its diameter. Deep drawing steel should be used for these deep drawing applications.

Extra Deep Drawing Steel (EDDS)  Typical Rb range 15/30

For the last of the four common steel grades, there is extra deep drawing steel. This grade is for really severe drawing applications. EDDS really only allows for the product to be hit with a one or two hit draw. If it is hit more than that, then issues will be had with splitting of the steel. This is why it’s important for customers not to order extra deep drawing steel if they will be sending it through several different hits because it will fail.

How Hascall Steel Determines the Grades

As stated above, the determining factor in identifying steel grades is hardness. Steel’s hardness is measured using the Rockwell scale; and the softer steels are represented by LOWER Rockwell numbers.

Rb’s are not the only determining factor of steel, chemistries, physicals, annealing cycles, etc. all play an important role in making various grades of steel.  But a simple Rb test can help guide you in determining what you may need.   

When Hascall Steel receives a shipment of steel from our suppliers, our own in-house laboratory accurately tests the mechanical properties to determine both the Rockwell and the tensile, yield, and elongation (TYE). This gives us trustworthy data, and allows us to confirm Rockwell results against our purchase order documents. Having an in-house lab at Hascall Steel is an advantage to us in our pursuit of knowing our material, and accurately matching our inventory to our customers grade requirements.

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HOW BEST TO ORDER STEEL FROM US...

At Hascall Steel we understand that part of being an expert is being able to tailor steel to your needs. With that in mind there are some key areas that will help us fulfill your steel order in a way that is best suited to your company’s capacities. By working with our sales team, we can adjust several aspects of your order to make things easier for your team members. Next are some areas to keep in mind that can improve efficiency and quality.

1. MATERIAL SPECIFICATIONS

Often customers place an order with the following basic information: Quantity/Gauge/Width/Length/Steel Type…

However there are quite a few QUALIFIERS that will help us all get the best value from the informational exchange.

2. TOLERANCES

When discussing material with our Sales Team, be sure to include tolerances for your gauge, width, and length (if applicable). In some cases, Hascall can meet tolerances as low as +/-.001 on gauge, +/-.003 on width, and +/-.015 on length. Specifications – Many steel specifications come with sub categories that can alter chemistries and mechanical boundaries. Be sure to have the full specification when ordering or talk with your sales representative to discuss options.

3. PACKAGING

Proper packaging can help reduce unloading and production time. ID – We offer ID sizes in 16”, 20”, and 24” OD – We are able to provide OD sizes up to 72” Skidding – Standard or custom skidding available, just let us know how you would like your material skidded to best meet your equipment needs.
Paper – Protective paper is standard on all orders but can be applied with standard or full wrapping both with and without Hascall Logos. Max Coil and Skid Weight – Coils can be adjusted to meet your max lift and coil capacities.
Offloading – Material can be shipped skidded or standing and set for Forklift on the side or the rear of the bed. Material can also be shipped ready for sheet lifter or overhead crane offload.

4. DELIVERY

Steel is only good if it gets there when you need it. At Hascall we have an experienced Logistics team that will ensure that your steel arrives on time in the way that best suits your needs. Whether you would like delivery via our in-house Steel Man Transportation service or if you would like to pick up your material personally, our team can set up appointments that meet your schedule. Our Logistics team can also arrange a 3rd party carrier if needed. Delivery dates, times, and address should be discussed with your Sales Representative prior to ordering.

5. THE UNKNOWN

And lastly, we know each customer is unique. There may be special requests that we would love to accommodate. These may range from a sample of the steel attached to the packaging, to increased tag requirements and frequencies. We are happy to work with you in order to be your trusted choice in slit steel coil and blanks.