Carbon steel is usually referred to as an alloy of iron and carbon containing up to about 2% carbon. For convenience, in the present work steel is defined as that alloy of iron and carbon which can be hardened by quenching, which means a practical lower limit for carbon content of approximately 0.3%. An iron-carbon alloy with less carbon than this would normally be referred to as a low-carbon or mild steel, but here is referred to as low-carbon iron. See also hyper-eutectoid steel and hypo-eutectoid steel.


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