What is 1040 Steel? Explanation, Properties and Uses

Steel is a very important material that is produced by alloying iron with carbon. Specific amounts of carbon are used to produce specific types of steel. One of these steel types is the ASME 1040 steel which includes very specific amounts of alloying elements. Special heat treatments are also applied to improve the properties of 1040 steel. Here, you can find the information about 1040 steel;

Seamless pipes produced with 1040 steel(Image Source: Emily metal).
  • Definition and alloying elements of 1040 steel, 
  • Production and heat treatment processes that were applied to produce 1040 steel, 
  • Mechanical and physical properties of 1040 steel, 
  • Applications that 1040 steel is used, 
  • Production of the 1040 steel in the world.

What is 1040 Steel and How It is Produced?

The production and the composition of the 1040 steel are very special and specific for the different kinds of applications. 

The Composition of 1040 Steel

  • Iron: The iron content in the 1040 steel is very high which is around 98,6-99% of the total composition of 1040 steel. 
  • Carbon: As you know that steel includes carbon content of up to 2.11% and 1040 steel includes around 0.360-0.450% of carbon in it. 
  • Manganese: The manganese content of the 1040 steel is higher than the carbon content. The general manganese content of 1040 steel is 0.6-0.9%. 
  • Sulfur: The suşfur content of the 1040 steel is around 0.040% of the total composition. 
  • Phosphorous: Also the phosphorous content of the 1040 steel is lower than the sulfur content which is around 0.040%. 

Which Processes and Heat Treatments are Applied to 1040 Steel?

Machining of the 1040 Steel

The use of the 1040 steel is a very wide range. 1040 steel is a type of steel that has very good machinability. In typical machining processes, 1040 steel can be used to obtain the required shape. 

Annealing of the 1040 Steel

The annealing of the 1040 steel is performed at around 870-990°C and it is slowly cooled in a special furnace. the normalizing can be applied at 900°C to 1040 sheets of steel. Also, stress relief heat treatment is used at 594°C. 

After annealing of the 1040 steel, 1040 steel can be formed. 

Welding of the 1040 Steel

Because of its high carbon content, preheating can be applied to 1040 steel before the welding operations. Once the preheating is applied, all types of welding processes can be applied to 1040 steel. 

Cold Working and Hot Working of 1040 Steel

Cold working and hot working processes are very important processes that are applied to metals to obtain the required shapes. The hot working temperatures of the 1040 steel are around 100-480°C which is also aroıund 200-900°F. 

With the application of cold working, strain hardening can be obtained with the 1040 steel.

Tempering of 1040 Steel

Tempered steels are used in high mechanical strength applications and 1040 steel can be tempered to obtain required mechanical properties. The general tempering temperatures of 1040 steel are around 300-700°C. 

Physical and Mechanical Properties of 1040 Steel

1040 steel has a very wide usage area because of its specific properties and its susceptibility to lots of mechanical processes. 

Physical Properties of 1040 Steel

  • Density: The density of the 1040 steel is 7.84 g/cm^3 which is very average around other steels and metals. 
  • Melting temperature: The melting temperature of the 1040 steel is 1521°C which is around the melting point of the iron. 
  • Thermal conductivity: The thermal conductivity of the 1040 steel is 52 W/mK. 

Mechanical Properties of 1040 Steel 

In the mechanical design phase, the mechanical properties of 1040 steel are used. Mechanical strength, fatigue, lifecycle, and other parameters are calculated by using the information below. 

  • Tensile Strength: The tensile strength of the 1040 steel is 620MPa which is very high and good for mechanical applications. 
  • Yield Strength: The yield strength of the 1040 steel is 420 MPa which is also a very good value. 
  • Bulk and Shear Modulus: These values are typical to steels and these values are 140 and 80 GPa for 1040 steel respectively. 
  • Modulus of Elasticity: The elasticity modulus of the 1040 steel is around 200GPa. 
  • Poisson’s Ratio: 0.30 for 1040 steel. 
  • Brinell Hardness: Brinell hardness of the 1040 steel is 201 which is very high compared to other steels. 
  • Knoop Hardness: Knoop hardness of the 1040 steel is 223. 
  • Rockwell B and C Hardness: These values for 1040 steel is 92 and 13 for 1040 steel. 
  • Vickers Hardness: The hardness of Vickers for 1040 steel is 211. 

General Applications that 1040 Steel is Used

Because of its general properties and ability to be used in different processes, 1040 steel is used in lots of applications. 

  • Mechanical Couplings: 1040 steel is used in mechanical coupling elements where dynamical strength is very important. Couplings are generally used in the transmission of power and mechanical strength is very important. 
  • Crankshafts: Crankshafts are another type of power transmission element that is heavily used in the automotive industry. 1040 steel is generally used in the production of crankshafts. 


1040 sheets of steel are also called another designation in different standards. In ANSI and SAE standards, it is called 1040 steel. 

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