Density of Steel

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Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Topic 3.5b Stress probs 2 (determinate). University of Wisconsin-Stout Physics Department, 20 January 1998. "The density of steel is 490 pounds per cubic foot." 7.85 g/cm3
Alcir Grohmann. Polystyrene Cutter. Ask A Scientist. Argonne National Laboratory. "To know the area: you could weight [sic] the wire and considering that the density of steel is approximately 7.8 g/cm3 having the length you can estimate the Area [sic]." 7.8 g/cm3
Materials Sorted by Category Then Density. Marcus Materials. [see table 1] 7.47–8.03 g/cm3
CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics. 75th edition. Florida: Chemical Rubber Co, 1994. [see table 2] 7.86–7.9 g/cm3
Scott Hawkins. Re: What is the density of steel? MadSci Network. 11 September 1997. "The short answer to your question is that the density of plain mild steel is 7.85. The long answer is that depending on where you look, or the grade of steel that you are talking about can change this value. A density of 7.88 is often quoted for mild steel as well. If you add alloying elements such as tungsten, chrome or manganese to improve the steel, the density will change. So the long answer is that the density of steel can vary between 7.75 and 8.05." 7.75–8.05 g/cm3

A man of steel is what every girl wants and what every guy wants to be. Steel is like air, it's everywhere: from bridges to fridges and from washing machines to canteens. Steel is mostly composed of iron and carbon. It contains small amounts of manganese and even smaller amounts of silicon, phosphorous, oxygen, sulfur, and other elements. Henry Bessemer created the Bessemer process in 1856 to manufacture steel cheaply.

Density is one of the numerous properties of steel. It is calculated by dividing the mass by the volume. Steel comes in many different forms. Their densities differ by type (see tables below).

Table 1
Materials Sorted By Category Then Density
Category Material Density
Metal Steel, tool 7.715
Metal Wrought Iron 7.75
Metal Carbon Tool Steel 7.82
Metal Steel, cold-drawn 7.83
Metal Carbon Steel 7.84
Metal Steel, C1020, HR 7.85
Metal Pure Iron 7.86
Metal Soft Steel (0.06% C) 7.87
Metal Stainless Steel, 304 8.03
Metal Stainless 18Cr-8Ni 8.03
Table 2
Common Name Density (g/cm3)
Plain carbon steel AISI-SAE 1020 7.86
Stainless steel type 304 7.9

There are many uses for steel. Stainless steel, for example, is used for surgical tools and kitchen utensils. It is a type of steel that contains low carbon levels and at least 10.5% of chromium. This results in corrosion resistance. Another kind of steel, tool steel, is used for metal cutting tools an drill bits because it is hard, but brittle. The amount of carbon in carbon steel determines the hardness of the steel. The more carbon it contains, the harder the steel. Carbon steel is often used for automobile parts.

Steel and its various forms have multiple uses around the world. The nature of the steel depends on its content, which results in varying densities. In most cases, the denser the steel, the harder it is. Hence, a man of steel is every girl's dream.

Karen Sutherland -- 2004

Bibliographic Entry Result
(w/surrounding text)
Cutnell & Johnson. Physics. John Wiley & Sons, Inc. 1998 CRC Press, Florida: 308 "Iron (Steel) 7860" 7860 kg/m3
National Physical Laboratory. Air Density Measurement. Teddington, Middlesex, UK. 2004. "NPL's working standards and most of the weights sent to NPL for calibration are made of stainless steel (density 8.0g cm^-3)" 8000 kg/m3
Nicol, Scot. Metallurgy for Cyclists The Basics. San Jose University. "For example, 6061 aluminum weighs 0.098 pounds per cubic inch. 4130 steel weighs 0.283 lb/in3 and 3/2.5 Titanium is 0.160 lb/in3." 7833 kg/m3
Parmatech Corporation. PIM Materials. Petaluma, CA. [see table below] 76007800 kg/m3
Arizona Board of Regents. Density. 2002-2004. "The relative density of steel is 7.7 and that of mercury is 13.6" 7700 kg/m3

There are five major classifications of steels: carbon steel, alloy steel, high-strength low-alloy steel, stainless steel and tool steel. Carbon steels are the most common, containing various amounts of carbon, produce everything from machines to bedsprings to bobby pins. Alloy steels have definite amounts of vanadium, molybdenum, manganese, silicon and cooper. Alloy steels produce gears, carving knives and even roller skates. Stainless steels have chromium, nickel amongst other alloy elements which sustains their color and reaction to rust. Stainless steel products include pipes, space capsules, surgical equipment to kitchen equipment. Last but not least, tool steels have tungsten, molybdenum amongst other alloy elements. These elements create the strength and ability of the tool steel products, which include parts for manufacturing operations as well as machinery.

The varying amounts of carbon, amongst other elements in each of the types of steel create a variety in densities or specific gravities. (Specific gravity or relative density is the ratio of a material's density to that of water.)

Stainless steels are the most dense, coming in at 8000 kg/m3. Though the densities vary, the density of steel is about 7700 kg/m3. The density of steel are measured in g/cm3, kg/m3, kg/L and lb/f3, with kg/m3 being the more commonly used measurement. A good way to remember the density of steel is to remember that titanium has about half the density of steel and aluminum is about one-third. If you can remember that, then you know what you're doing!

Monica M. -- 2004

Typical Mechanical Properties of Parmatech PIM Alloys
Material Group Alloy* Density (g/cm3)
Low Alloy & Alloy Steels MIM-2200
Low Alloy & Alloy Steels MIM-2200
Heat treated**
Low Alloy & Alloy Steels MIM-2700
Low Alloy & Alloy Steels MIM-2700
Stainless Steels MIM-316L 7.80
Stainless Steels 304 L 7.75
Stainless Steels MIM-17-4 PH
Stainless Steels MIM-17-4 PH
Heat-treated (H900)
Stainless Steels 420
HIP'ed + Heat Treated
Soft Magnetic Alloys MIM-430L 7.50
Soft Magnetic Alloys MIM-Fe-3%Si 7.50
Soft Magnetic Alloys MIM-Fe-50%Ni 7.70
Controlled Expansion Alloy Kovar
(F-15 Alloy)
Other Alloys Pyromet 718 NA

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