30+ Different Types of Steel (7 Classification Method)

Types of metals

First, let’s see the definition of metal.

Definition of metals from Wikipedia:

A metal is a material that, when freshly prepared, polished, or fractured, shows a lustrous appearance, and conducts electricity and heat relatively well.

Then how many types of metals are there?

Let’s dive right in.

Generally, metals can be divided into two categories: ferrous metal and nonferrous metal.

ferrous metals and non ferrous metals

Ferrous metal (Black metal)

Alloys based on iron, manganese and chromium are usually referred to as ferrous metals. Iron-based alloys are called steel.

Ferrous metal

Non-ferrous metal

Alloys based on the remaining alloys are referred to as non-ferrous metals. Non-ferrous metals are usually named after their element names. Such as aluminum and aluminum alloys, copper and copper alloys.

Non-ferrous metal

Classified by the smelting process

Steel can be divided into:

  • Hand furnace steel
  • Electric furnace steel
  • Converter steel

Converter smelting

And electric furnace steel can be divided into:

  • Electric arc furnace
  • Induction furnace
  • Vacuum induction furnace
  • Electroslag furnace

Crucible type high frequency induction furnace

Crucible type high frequency induction furnace

Electroslag furnace

Electroslag furnace

Classified by the degree of deoxidation

  • Rimmed Steel (Q235AF)
  • Killed steel (Z)
  • Semi-killed steel (b)
  • Special killed steel (TZ)

Rimmed Steel

Rimmed Steel

Classified by application

Steel can be divided into:

  • Structural steel
  • Tool steel
  • Special performance steel

Tool steel

Tool steel

Specifically, structural steel can be further divided into:

  • Building structural steel
  • Machine manufacturing steel

Tool steel can be divided into:

  • Measuring tool steel
  • Cold mold tool steel
  • Hot mold tool steel

Hot mold tool steel

Hot mold tool steel

Special property steel can be divided into:

  • Impact resistant low-temperature steel
  • Stainless acid resistant steel
  • Weathering resistant steel
  • Electrical steel

Electrical steel

Electrical steel

Classified by the metallographic structure

(1) According to the equilibrium state and the annealed structure, it is divided into: hypereutectoid steel, eutectoid steel, hypereutectoid steel and lysitic steel.

(2) According to the normalizing structure, it is divided into: pearlitic steel, bainite steel, martensitic steel and austenitic steel.

(3) According to the metallographic structure of the heating phase with or without phase change, it is divided into: ferritic steel, austenitic steel, martensitic steel, and duplex steel.

Classified by the chemical component

Carbon steel is divided into:

  • Ordinary carbon steel
  • High-quality carbon steel
  • Advanced carbon steel

Ordinary carbon steel

Ordinary carbon steel

Alloy steel is divided into:

  • Low-alloy steel
  • Medium alloy steel
  • High alloy steel

Alloy steel

Alloy steel

Carbon steel:

Also been called mild steel. In addition to iron and carbon, it mainly contains a small amount of impurities like Si, Mn, S, P etc. The total content is not more than 2%. According to the carbon content, it is divided into:

  • Low carbon steel – less than 0.25% carbon
  • Medium carbon steel – carbon content 0.25 ~ 0.6%
  • High carbon steel – carbon content greater than 0.6%

Alloy steel:

In addition to the elements contained in carbon steel, there are other alloying elements such as Cr, Ni, Mo, W, V, B. According to different alloying elements, it’s divided into:

  • Low alloy steel – less than 5% alloy
  • Medium alloy steel – alloy content 5-10%
  • High alloy steel – alloy content greater than 10%

Alloy Steel

Classified by quality

(1) Ordinary steel

(2) High-quality steel

(3) Premium quality steel A

(4) Special high-quality steel E

Classified by shape

Thick Plate


  • 2-4.0 mm: steel sheet
  • 4-20mm:medium plate
  • >20mm: thick plate


  • Seamless tube (hot rolled, cold drawn and pressed)
  • Seamedwelding tube (straight seam pipe, spiral tube)

Seamless tube

Seamless tube


Angle steel, channel steel, I-beam, round steel, square steel, flat steel and hexagonal steel.


Wire rod:

Rebar, steel wire and iron wire

Wire rod

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