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All About ABS Grade A Steel

A ship being built with steel

What is ABS steel?

  1. ABS Graded Steel Is Standardized By The American Bureau Of Shipping
  2. ABS Steel Is Carbon Steel
  3. ABS Steel Has Different Specifications And Grades


ABS steel is structural steel used for different building applications. This type of steel comes in many grades to provide different specifications that are applicable to shipbuilding. The different grades are certified to be used in shipbuilding capacities for structural parts of ships, barges, and other marine equipment. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes of shipbuilding, but this simplified guide will help you understand and know more about this material.


ABS Graded Steel Is Standardized By The American Bureau of Shipping

A man welding steel on to a ship

The American Bureau of Shipping is a non-profit maritime classification society that was founded in 1862. The core of ABS is to provide classification services to the marine, offshore, and gas industries globally. This helps consumers and manufacturers adhere to guidelines to ensure their safety. These rules are also used to assess designs and the construction of marine vessels, as well as the integrity of existing vessels and marine structures.

ABS steel is standardized by the American Bureau of Shipping. Each piece of ABS steel is inclusive of many grades under the category of ordinary strength up to 2 levels for high-strength grades. Each of these materials is engineered to be used for shipbuilding. ABS in itself discourages the use of other unstandardized steel as these don’t have the proper detailed engineering that makes it passable as a material to be used in harsh conditions.


ABS Steel Is Carbon Steel

Ships on the sea

ABS steel is characterized by its high carbon content, which usually makes up around 2% of its weight. Carbon steel has a lot of benefits to offer. Unlike other compositions of steel, carbon steel is significantly stronger and harder. It’s perfect for the harsh conditions that barges, marine equipment, and ships go through every day.

However, you don’t have to build a ship to be able to benefit from ABS steel. You can use it for domestic and commercial buildings if you require a steel plate that has a stronger and harder composition to withstand a lot of wear and tear. However, you must take note that compared to actual steel, ABS steel will most likely corrode over time if exposed to the elements.


ABS Steel Has Different Specifications and Grades

Sheets of steel for shipbuilding

Commercial and specification grade steel plates can meet various requirements for different industries. It can be as simple as making steel cabinets, storage bins, or even high-pressure vessels. It’s important to divide these steel plates accordingly as not all components are made the same. This is to avoid confusion and to help manufacturers use the right material for their projects.

Low carbon plate steel has three carbon ranges that have different thicknesses and uses. Plates ¾” and lighter have the lowest carbon rating, which is around 0.10-0.20. These can be welded and cold-formed accordingly. Sizes around 1 ½” have a carbon range of 0.15-0.25 which can allow it to withstand more machining while still being able to be cold formed and welded. For plates over 1 ½” with a carbon range of 0.20-0.33, you can get the best blend of weldability, strength, and structural soundness.

Medium carbon plate steel has a .40-.50 carbon range to provide improved strength. Depending on the thickness from light to medium, it can be easily heat-treated to increase its strength. This type of plate can be machined easily, but remember that forming and welding can become more limited as the carbon range goes higher.

Structural quality steel is designed for intense welding, bolting, riveting, and fabrication. It can be used to construct oil rigs, buildings, bridges, and more. For example, an A36 plate can be used for lightweight structures and can be welded easily. A36 has the lowest carbon component with a maximum yield strength of 36,000 PSI.

Another piece of structural quality steel you can find is the ASTM A572. This steel has a grade ranging from 50-70 depending on your supplier. Its minimum strength level is 50,000 psi. It’s a mid-range priced steel that offers high strength, formability, and weldability. The corrosion resistance of this material is around the same as plain carbon steel.


Key Takeaway

Are you looking for ABS steel for your projects? Are you looking to build a structurally sound design for commercial or residential use? Look no further than Regan Steel. At Regan Steel, we have different structural quality steel plates available, including ASTM A572. We have other special graded steel such as Corten plates, AR plates, and more. At Regan Steel, we also supply steel sections, tubing, bars, and rods locally. Contact us now or visit our website to check out our products.

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