In addition to carbon, it contains small amounts of manganese, phosphorus, sulfur and silicon. This chemistry provides good machining characteristics.
1020 steel has a yield strength of around 42,000 psi and tensile strength of 58,000 psi. It has moderate ductility and toughness.
Common uses include low-stress parts, machine tools, jigs and fixtures where machining is important. It is often used when welding or forming are not required.
1020 steel can be readily machined, turned, milled, drilled and tapped. It accepts all common metal-finishing methods like polishing.
It is usually supplied in the annealed condition for machining. Additional hardening is not typically done since properties are not strongly enhanced with heat treating for many general use applications.
For forming, 1018 steel with slightly lower carbon is substituted. And for demanding strength applications, 4140/4340 alloy steels replace 1020 due to better properties after heat treatment.
Top 10 questions people ask about 1020 steel, and the answers:
What be the carbon amount?
Tween 0.18-0.25% carbon gives it machinability.
What be the properties?
Tensile strength about 58,000 pounds with good ductility.
How can ya strengthen it?
Usually used as-rolled since heat treating don't boost properties much fer most uses.
What shapes be available?
Plates, bars, tubes - anything you need fer building or fixing things!
What's it used for?
Low-stress parts like tools where you'll be doing machining but no welding.
1018's similar but softer. 1045's a might stronger. For welding use 1018.
It weld good?
Aye, but 1018 welds better. 1020'll work in a pinch though, matey!
Cleaning and protecting?
Polishing, painting, or ye can put a zinc plating on for outdoors.
Depends on the shape and size ye needs! A fair steel fer most any landlubber or sea dog.