SAE 1018

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Grade Introduction:

There are many different categories of steel, and carbon steels are one such category that contains 0.12 to 2% carbon in them. The steel gains hardness and strength with heat treatment when the carbon percentage content increases; however its ductility is reduced.
SAE 1018 carbon steel is a free machining grade that is the most commonly available grade around the world. Although its mechanical properties are not very unique, it still can be easily formed, machined, welded and fabricated.

Grade Application:

SAE 1018 carbon steel is commonly used in high volume screw machine parts applications. The other applications of this alloy are as follows:

  • Shafts
  • Spindles
  • Pins
  • Rods
  • Sprocket assemblies.

Equivalent grades:

Standard AISI / SAE 1018
BS 970 708A30, CDS110
UNI 25CrMo4 (KB), 30CrMo4
JIS SCM 420, SCM 430, SCCrM1
EN name
EN # 1.7218

Addition to other grades:

MS, EN1A, EN3B, EN8, EN8D, EN9, EN19, EN24, EN31, EN32B, EN36C, EN41B, EN43B, EN47, EN353, IS2062, 42Crmo4, HCHCR, OHNS, D2, D3, H-11, H-13, CW-1, M2, M35, M42, 2714, SKD-11, P20, P20+S, P20+Ni, SCM 420, ASTM SA-36, ASTM SA-105, SAE 1020, SAE 4140, SAE 8620, 16MNCR5, 20MNCR5, C20, C35, C40, C45, C50, C60, CK45, 20C8, 40C8, 45C8, 55C8, C55MN75, SAE 52100, S40C, S355J2G3.

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Chemical composition:

The following table shows the chemical composition of SAE 1018 steel:

Element C Mn P S Fe
Carbon(%) 0.15-0.20 0.60-0.90 0.04 Max 0.05 Max Balance

Mechanical Properties:

Properties Metric Imperial
Tensile strength 440 MPa 63800 psi
Yield strength 370 MPa 53700 psi
Modulus of elasticity 205 GPa 29700 ksi
Shear modulus (typical for steel) 80 GPa 11600 ksi
Poisson’s ratio 0.29 0.29
Elongation at break (in 50 mm) 15% 15%
Hardness, Brinell 126 126
Hardness, Knoop (converted from Brinell hardness) 145 145
Hardness, Rockwell B (converted from Brinell hardness) 71 71
Hardness, Vickers (converted from Brinell hardness) 131 131
Machinability (based on AISI 1212 steel. as 100 machinability) 70 70



Heat Treatment:

SAE 1018 carbon steel can be case hardened to Rc 42, but only in thin sections. In case of thicker sections of over 4 in., Rc 28-30 can be obtained.


This grade of steel is not normally subjected to hardening and tempering treatments as the hardness obtained from such treatments would not warrant they’re being performed. Carburizing might be carried out at 1620-1690ºF (880-920ºC,) and carbonitriding at 1470 -1600ºF (800-875ºC.)
Hardening of the carburized case would be performed at 1430-1500ºF (780-820ºC) followed by a water quench and a tempering treatment at 300-400ºF (150-200ºC) to improve case toughness with a minimum effect on its hardness. Case hardness values of Rc 58 may be obtained on carburized C1018.


  • AISI 1018 mild/low carbon steel is tempered at between 150°C – 200°C for improvement of case toughness. This process has little or no effect on hardness.
  • The occurrence of grinding cracks is reduced when AISI 1018 mild/low carbon steel is tempered at the above-mentioned temperature.

Physical Properties

Properties Metric Imperial
Density 7.87 g/cm3 0.284 lb/in3

Thermal Properties

Properties Metric Imperial
Thermal conductivity 51.9 W/mK 360 BTU in/hr.ft2.°F

Forging Properties:

Forging of SAE 1018 carbon steel can take place in the range of 996-1260°C (1825-2300°F).

Stress Relieving:

500°C – 700°C is required to relieve stress in AISI 1018 mild/low carbon steel that is later cooled down in still air.


AISI 1018 mild/low carbon steel should be heated at 890°C – 940°C and then cooled in still air.


Complete annealing of this alloy can be achieved by soaking at 899°C (1650°F) followed by furnace cooling. Process annealing can be done at 649°C (1200°F).


Density 7.87 g/cm3 0.284 lb/in3


SAE 1018 carbon steel is rated at 62% of AISI 1112 carbon steel. Machining provides this alloy with a fine finish, with continuous and hard chips. It is possible to machine this alloy in all conditions.


SAE 1018 carbon steel can be welded using most of the conventional methods such as gas, oxyacetylene, resistance, and submerged melt welding.

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