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Material Designations

AISI / SAE Steel Designations by swertel
Posted: 27 Jun 02 (Edited 27 Jun 02)

From The Science and Engineering of Materials by Donald R. Askeland

AISI steel designations have 4 or 5 digits.
The first two numbers refer to the major alloying elements present; the last two or three refer to the average percent carbon.

For example, a 1020 steel is a plain-carbon (10XX) with about .20% carbon (XX20).  4340 steel is an alloy steel with about .40% carbon (XX40) and other alloying elements (43XX).  52100 steel is an alloy steel (52XXX) that has an average of 1.00% carbon (XX100).

I do not have a good reference at this time that relates the first two digits with any specific alloy element and percentage of.  If anyone does, please notify me so I can add it to this FAQ.

Thanks to GRoberts for supplying the following link
http://www.survivalistbooks.com/faq/metalfaq.htm

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