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3 Common Types Of Steel Materials In The Rigging Industry


3 Common Types Of Steel Materials In The Rigging Industry

There are many different types of steel materials used in rigging supplies and rigging hardware, while there are three commonly known forms of steel materials seen in the rigging industry alone: carbon steel, alloy steel, and stainless steel.

What is carbon steel?

Carbon steel is the most widely produced steel in the world, characterized by high carbon content, usually, any steel with carbon content from about 0.05% up to 2.1% by weight can be defined of carbon steel, stated from the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), it is the most common type of steel by far and not just in the rigging hardware products.

Carbon steel for rigging accessories

How many types of carbon steel:

1. Low-carbon steel
0.05 to 0.25% carbon (plain carbon steel) content.

2. Medium-carbon steel
Approximately 0.3–0.6% carbon content.Balances ductility and strength and has good wear resistance; used for large parts, forging and automotive components, commonly most of the drop forged shackles, turnbuckles, or any other need heat treatment rigging items are made in Medium carbon steel (C1045). You can click this link to check our rigging items.

3. High-carbon steel
Approximately 0.26 to 1.00% carbon content. Very strong, used for springs, edged tools, and high-strength wires

4. Ultra-high-carbon steel
Approximately 1.25–2.0% carbon content. Steels that can be tempered to great hardness. Used for special purposes like (non-industrial-purpose) knives, axles or punches. Most steels with more than 2.5% carbon content are made using powder metallurgy.

In the rigging industry, the most commonly produced type of carbon steel is low carbon steel and medium carbon steel, because they can be formed very easily due to the right wt% C, and after heat treating(Quenched & Tempered), their mechanical properties will be changed to ductility, hardness, yield strength, or impact resistance.

What is alloy steel?

Alloy steel is steel that is alloyed with a variety of elements to improve its mechanical properties. Most commonly, all steel is an alloy, including carbon steel, while in the rigging industry field, the phrase “alloy steel” refers to a very specific type of carbon steel, combined with the element, manganese, chromium, or both, this increased strength and to help fight the brittleness that many types of untreated steel display, especially after the heat treatment. It is used in our Grade 8/80 & Grade 10/100 Components.

Alloy steel for G80 products

What is stainless steel?

Stainless steel also known as inox steel (meaning inoxidizable from the French word inoxydable), is actually a type of alloy steel mixed with a minimum of approximately 11% chromium, nickel, molybdenum, and extremely low carbon as one of its elements. The other alloying elements may vary according to the structural and chemical properties required for the stainless steel.

One of the major positives of stainless steel is that it never easily corrodes due to the presence of chromium, which prevents the steel from rusting.

It is used in a wide range of applications from automobiles to shipping components and consumer products to bulk material and handling equipment. There are a number of standard alloys of stainless steel.

Specific types of stainless steel are often designated by a three-digit number in the rigging industry, commonly there are two types of stainless steel used for rigging, 304 stainless and 316 stainless steel, the 304 stainless steel is better and more expensive than 316 stainless steel for it adds molybdenum, which has excellent resistance to pitting corrosion, while the 316 marine grade stainless steel hardware is the preferred choice for coastal areas or when saltwater is involved.

Stainless steel for stainless steel hardware

What’s the difference between carbon steel, alloy steel and stainless steel?

Stainless steel has a high chromium content, the chromium can be exposed to oxygen without developing rust or corrosion, making a protective layer of chromium that creates a barrier between environmental oxygen and the metal’s iron content.

Normally, when carbon steel is exposed to moisture, it undergoes a chemical transformation, known as oxidation, that changes their properties, although stronger and more durable, if there is no additional protection against rust on the surface, such as hot dipped galvanized, zinc plated or painted.

Carbon steel and alloy steel are stronger and harder than stainless steel for high carbon content changes the characteristics of steel, whereas alloy steel is the strongest of the three, for its includes element, manganese, chromium, modify the properties of the metal, especially after the Quanched and Tempered, and it can resistant to rust and corrosion without galvanization.

Although carbon steel lacks the corrosion-resistant properties of its stainless steel counterpart, and not stronger and harder than alloy steel, it is less expensive and can create a wide range of steel alloy specific applications by adding the element combinations.

Please take a look at the lifting rigging accessories by clicking here. For all of your lifting rigging hardware inquires, Hilifting is here to help you along your way. Visit us at and live chat with one of our Hilifting specialists for any questions you may have.



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