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European designation system for steel

European Standards for steel and steel products together with their supporting
standards have progressively replaced national standards in recent years. It is
therefore necessary to have one European designation system to identify the
variety of steels and steel products now specified in European Standards. The
European designation system is well established and is set out in BS EN 10027-1
(covering steel names) and BS EN 10027-2 (describing steel numbers).

Steel names

Steel names provide a meaningful identification of steel or a steel product by way of


alpha-numeric characters as set out in BS EN 10027-1 designating steel according
to:
Application and principal mechanical or physical properties in 11
categories;
Chemical composition in 4 categories.

The words steel name replace the UK traditional word grade. Although steel
names are becoming part of industry vocabulary, a steel name is not formally
complete without reference to the standard in which the steel is specified.

Where the steel is specified in the form of a casting, its name is preceded by the
letter G. Where the steel is produced by powder metallurgy, its name is preceded
by the letters PM.

Structure of steel names according to Application and principal mechanical


or physical properties

Steel names designating steels according to their application and principal


mechanical or physical properties have a first letter indicating application followed
by digits indicating a mechanical property or other qualities. In order to avoid
ambiguity, steel names are supplemented by additional symbols indicating, as is
appropriate, impact energy, delivery condition, product form, coating, treatment
condition, etc. The 11 categories of symbols described in EN 10027-1:2005 are as
follows.

Principal symbols EN 10027-1:2005


Symbol Application
Snnna Structural steel nnn indicates specified minimum yield
Pnnna Steel for pressure strength (Re) in MPa for smallest
purposes thickness range. Additional symbols (a)
Lnnna Steel line pipe indicate other material properties,
Ennna Engineering steels process route, product form or type etc.
Bnnna Steel for reinforcing nnn indicates characteristic yield strength
concrete in MPa for the smallest dimensional
range followed by a letter (a) indicating
ductility
Ynnnna Steel for nnnn indicates nominal tensile strength
prestressing (Rm) in MPa followed by letters (a)
concrete indicating type of product, eg wire,
strand, bar
Rnnna Steel for, or in the nnn indicates specified minimum Brinell
form of rails hardness followed by letters (a) indicating
chemical composition, heat treatment etc.
Da*nna Flat products for The second character (a*) is C for cold
cold forming (except rolled products, D for hot rolled products
high strength (for direct cold forming) and X where the
products designated rolled condition is not specified. nn
as below) indicates quality of the product as
specified in the relevant standard. Other
symbols (a) indicate the purpose of the
steel eg for tubes, for enamelling, for
hot dipping, etc
Ha*Tnnn(n)a High strength steel The second character (a*) is C for cold
flat products for cold rolled products, D for hot rolled products
forming (for direct cold forming) and X where the
rolled condition is not specified. Tnnn(n)
denotes a specified minimum tensile
strength in MPa. If T is not present the
nnn refers to the minimum yield strength
in MPa
Ta*nnna Tinmill products The second character (a*) refers to the
(steels for production process used for annealing,
packaging) being H for continuous annealed material
and S for batch annealed. nnn indicates
the nominal yield strength in MPa.
Mnnnn-nna Electrical steels nnnn indicates maximum magnetic loss
in W/kg x 100 and nn indicates nominal
thickness x 100. Other letters (a) are
suffixed indicating grain orientation,
process state etc.

Structure of steel names according to chemical composition

Steel names designating steels according to their chemical composition are in 4


categories according to the content of the significant alloying elements. These
steel names can also be supplemented by additional symbols as provided in EN
10027-1. The 4 categories are as follows:
Symbol Application
Cnnna Non-alloy steels (except C indicating carbon is followed by
free cutting steels) with numbers indicating average C content
average Mn content <1% x 100. Additional symbols (a) indicate
product end usage or analysis data
for other elements, e.g. C40E where
E indicates a maximum sulphur
content.
nnna..n-n Non-alloy steels with nnn is a number indicating average C
average Mn content content x 100 and is followed by
>1%, non-alloy free chemical symbols (a) of elements
cutting steels, and alloy which characterise the steel. These
steels (except free cutting symbols are followed by numbers,
steels) where average separated by hyphens (n-n),
content, by weight, of representing the average percentage
each alloying element is content of the indicated elements
1
<5% multiplied by a factor , e.g.13CrMo4-5
Xnnna..n-n Stainless and other alloy X indicates steel where the content of
steels (except high speed at least one alloying element is >5%
steels) where the and is followed by numbers (nnn)
average content, by indicating average C content x 100.
weight, of at least one The chemical symbols (a) which
alloying element is >5% characterise the steel are stated and
followed by numbers, separated by
hyphens (n-n), representing the
average percentage content (rounded
to the nearest integer) of the indicated
elements, eg X3CrNiCu19-9-2
HSn-na High speed steels HS indicates a high speed steel and
is followed by numbers(separated by
hyphens) (n-n) indicating the
percentage content of W, Mo, V, Co
and in that order, e.g. HS2-9-1-8

1 Factors used in the designation of non-alloy steels with average Mn content >1%, non-alloy
free cutting steels, and alloy steels (except high speed steels) where average content by
weight of each alloying element is <5%, are as follows:
Element Factor
Cr, Co, Mn, Ni, Si, W, 4
Al, Be, Cu, Mo, Nb, Pb, Ta, Ti, V, Zr 10
Ce, N, P, S 100
B 1000
Steel numbers

Steel numbers as set out in EN 10027-2:1992 provide a numerical identification of


steels and therefore are amenable to data processing. They sometimes provide a
convenient and shorter alternative to the more complex steel name. It is
emphasised that steel numbers refer to the steel and not to the steel product. For
example, in the case of coated steel flat products, a steel number can identify the
steel substrate; the coated steel product does not have a steel number.

Steel numbers are based on the German Werkstoffnamen system first established
in the German Standard DIN 17007. The European system is managed by the
European Registration Office which is operated by the Verein Deutscher
Eisenhttenleute (VDEh).

The structure of steel numbers is as follows:

Example Steel Number : 1.XXYY (ZZ)

1. Material group number 1 = Steel, 2 = Nickel Alloys


XX Steel group numbers
Steel group numbers are set out in EN 10027-2 in table 1, e.g.
05 = steels with average C >0.25% and <0.55% or tensile
strength (Rm) >500 MPa and <700 MPa;
43 = stainless steels with Ni >2.5% but without Mo, Nb and Ti.
YY (ZZ) Sequential number.
Presently the sequential number comprises 2 digits. The digits
enclosed in brackets are reserved for future use should demand
for additional capacity prove necessary.

Examples
1 Steel EN 10025-2 S355J0C steel number 1.0553 indicates a structural steel
(S) to BS EN 10025-2 having a minimum yield strength (Re) of 355 MPa (355)
for thicknesses 16mm, a minimum impact energy of 27J at a test temperature
o
of 0 C (J0) and is suitable for special cold forming operations (C) such as cold
flanging, cold roll forming and cold drawing.

2 Steel EN 10025-5 S355J2WP - steel number 1.8946 indicates a structural


steel (S) to BS EN 10025-5 having a minimum yield strength (Re) of 355 MPa
o
(355) for thicknesses 16mm, a minimum impact energy of 27J at 20 C (J2)
with improved atmospheric corrosion resistance (W) for sheet piling (P).

3 Steel EN 10025-3 S275NL - steel number 1.0491 indicates a fine grain


structural steel (S) to BS EN 10025-3 in the normalised or normalised rolled
condition (N) having a minimum yield strength (Re) of 275 MPa (275) for
thicknesses 16mm, with improved impact strength for test temperatures in
o o
the range +20 C to -50 C (L).
4 Steel EN 10083-2 C40E - steel number 1.1186 indicates a non-alloy special
steel with Mn content <1%, (ie 0.50/0.80%) having an average C content (C) of
0.40% (40) with a specified maximum S content (E) of 0.035%. E is an
additional symbol.

5 Steel EN 10028-2 - 13CrMo4-5 - steel number 1.7335 indicates an alloy steel


with Mn content <1%, (i.e. 0.40/1.00%) and having an average C content of
0.13% (0.08%/0.18%) (13) and the significant alloying elements Cr and Mo
(CrMo) indicated. The value of the Cr content is identified by a number (4)
being the specified average content multiplied by the factor for Cr i.e.
[(0.70+1.15)/2 x 4 = 3.7 = 4 rounded]. After a hyphen the value of the Mo
content is identified by a number (5) being the specified average content
multiplied by the factor for Mo i.e. [(0.40+0.60)/2 x 10 = 5].

6 Steel EN 10088-3 X3CrNiCu19-9-2 - steel number 1.4560 indicates an


alloy steel (in this case, a stainless steel) where the alloy content, by weight, of
at least one alloying element is >5% (X), ie Cr and Ni, and having the
significant alloying elements Cr, Ni and Cu (CrNiCu) where their contents are
indicated by 19, 9 and 2 respectively (19-9-2) each being the average %
content of the indicated elements in order and rounded to the nearest integer.