Metal Classification 150

This class introduces the AISI-SAE classification for steels.

Class Details

Class Name:
Metal Classification 150
This class introduces the AISI-SAE classification for steels.
Number of Lessons:
Additional Language:
Spanish, Chinese
Related 2.0 Class:
Classification of Steel 201

Class Outline

  • Objectives
  • The Importance of Steel
  • Why Are Metals Classified?
  • Key Variables
  • Key Organizations
  • What Is Carbon Steel?
  • Types of Carbon Steel
  • Classification of Plain Carbon Steel
  • Classifying Alloy Steels
  • Other Types of Steel
  • Classification of Nonferrous Metals
  • Classification Issues
  • Summary


  • Describe the importance of metal classification.
  • Explain why metals are classified.
  • Identify the variables that determine the properties of a metal.
  • Describe steel classification systems.
  • Describe the function of carbon in steel.
  • Identify the major categories of carbon steel.
  • Describe the classification of plain carbon steel.
  • Identify alloy steels using the AISI-SAE system.
  • Describe the classification of stainless and tool steels.
  • Describe the classification of nonferrous metals.
  • Describe common metal classification issues.


  • CMfgT
  • Metalforming I
  • MSSC Manufacturing Processes and Production


Vocabulary Term Definition
AISI-SAE designation The most common classification in the United States for plain carbon steels and alloy steels.
alloy steel A steel containing another material that is added intentionally to improve certain properties of the metal.
alloying element An element that is intentionally added to a metal in order to change its properties.
aluminum A silvery white metal that is soft, light, and has a high strength-to-weight ratio.
chemical composition The combination of materials at the atomic level.
chromium A shiny, hard, steel-gray metal used in ferrous alloys to add hardness and wear resistance to steel. Stainless steels contain large amounts of chromium.
copper A reddish metal that is very ductile, thermally and electrically conductive, and corrosive resistant. Copper is often used to make electrical wire.
corrosion resistance A material's ability to resist deterioration caused by exposure to an environment.
ductility A metal's ability to be drawn, stretched, or formed without breaking.
electric arc furnace A type of furnace used during the steelmaking process that shoots electric arcs between electrodes to burn a combination of pig iron and other materials to produce steel.
grade A numerical name that describes the contents of a metal alloy.
hardenability A metal's ability to be hardened by normal heat treatment processes.
hardness A metal's ability to resist penetration, indentation, or scratching.
heat treatment The heating and cooling processes used to change the structure of a metal and alter its mechanical properties.
high-carbon steel A carbon steel that contains more than 0.5% carbon.
impurities An unwanted substance that reduces the quality of a material.
low-carbon steel A carbon steel that contains less than 0.3% carbon.
medium-carbon steel A carbon steel that contains between 0.3 and 0.5% carbon.
nonferrous metal A metal that does not intentionally contain iron.
plain carbon steel The basic type of steel, which contains less than 3% of elements other than iron and carbon.
stainless steel A type of steel that contains more than 15% chromium and exhibits excellent corrosion resistance.
steel A metal consisting of iron and carbon, usually with small amounts of manganese, phosphorus, sulfur, and silicon as well.
tool steel A type of steel designed with high wear resistance, toughness, and strength.
Unified Numbering System A common classification system that is used for both ferrous and nonferrous metals.