1018 / A36 Tool Steel - 1.9413 / ~1.0044 - SAE 1018 / ~1020

What kind of steel is AISI 1018 and AISI A36?

1018 / A36 belong to the family of low carbon steels (also called mild steels), the most commonly available grades in the world. This steel family has good strength, weldability, ductility, surface hardening quality, good mechanical properties, and a very good machinability. 1018 and A36 are usually both used for high performance applications and therefore can be combined or substituted easily. The raw material for 1018 Steel  is often cold-rolled, while A36 Steel  is often produced hot-rolled.

Cold drawing increases tensile- and yield strength, torsional strength, surface hardness and wear resistance as well as better tolerances and improved smoothness compared to hot-finished steel. 

Hot rolled it has good toughness, strength, ductility, formability, weldability, and workability. 

In its annealed condition 1018 / A36 tool steel can be easily formed.

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Imperial and Metric Steel Sizes for Sale

Imperial Steel Size

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Precision Ground Flat Stock, regular [GFS reg]


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Cold Finished Rounds [CF]

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1018 / A36 Tool Steel: Standard values

Working hardness: 50 HRC - 60 HRC
Delivery condition: max. 162HB

Chemical composition in %






















1018 / A36 Tool Steel: Technical Data

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1018 / A36 Tool Steel: Technical Properties

This grade is one of the commonly used low corbon steels. It has good weldability, surface hardening quality, higher mechanical properties and a very good machinability.

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1018 / A36 Tool Steel: Applications

gears, pinions, ratchets, worms, pins, chain pins, machine parts, tools and mold components

Chemical designation: Working hardness: 50 HRC - 60 HRC
Delivery condition: max. 162HB






















This grade is one of the commonly used low corbon steels. It has good weldability, surface hardening quality, higher mechanical properties and a very good machinability.

gears, pinions, ratchets, worms, pins, chain pins, machine parts, tools and mold components

1018 / A36 General Information

Is 1018 steel and A36 steel the same?

Though both are mild low carbon steels there are a few differences between 1018 and A36. Most often as mentioned above, 1018 ist cold rolled steel whereas A36 is hot rolled. 1018 has a carbon content of 0.15 - 0.20%, whereas A36 has a content of 0.25 - 0.29%.

Both can easily be welded, though A36 can have more impurities as it is hot rolled. Hot rolled A36 will also have a rougher surface compared to the cold drawn 1018. A36 has a higher strength, where 1018 is more ductile which means it can be bend easier.

A36 can be flame hardened but has not got a high enough carbon content for the usual quenching and tempering. 1018 but also A36 can be carburized, which gives either steel grade a harder surface.

Where can 1018 / A36 be used?

1018 CF and A36 CF can be used when a high surface hardness with a ductile core is needed and is used for bending as it does not crack in the process. 1018 / A36 finds its uses for dowels, mounting plates and separators as well as for tool holders, spindles, sprockets, gears, jigs, and fixtures and can be manipulated by cold drawing, swaging and crimping as well.

Is 1018 / A36 a stainless steel?

In the classic sense of a stainless steel 1018 / A36 is not a stainless steel.

Is 1018 / A36 corrosion resistant?

1018 / A36 has a moderate corrosion resistance as it does not contain enough of the alloying elements to promote full corrosion resistance. 

1018 / A36 is susceptible to pitting and crevice corrosion in acids and chloride rich environments as well as intergranular corrosion when exposed to high temperature over a longer time.

Apply a protective coating to 1018 / A36 like oil or black oxide to protect this material from corrosion.

Is 1018 / A36 magnetizable?

As a ferrite steel 1018 / A36 is magnetizable.

1018 / A36 Heat treatment

This steel grade is most often used in the as-forged condition, as machinability in this condition is better than in the normalized condition.

Both steel grades can be surface hardened by flame hardening and carburization as the normal heat treating process, quenching and tempering is not followed.

1018 Steel / A36 Steel annealing

1018 / A36 should be heated to a temperature range of 1598 – 1670°F (870 – 910°C) uniformly. Soak the material for at least 1 hour or 1 hour for 1 inch (25.4 mm) of the maximum thickness. Cool parts slowly e.g., in the furnace after shutting it down or in an insulating medium like lime.

1018 / A36 Stress relieving

Heat the work pieces to a temperature of 932 – 1292°F (500 – 700°C) and follow this up with cooling them in still air.

1018 / A36 Hardening

Hardening 1018 / A36 can be done by any standard carburizing methods, followed by a heat treatment.

1018 / A36 Quenching

1018 / A36 is an unalloyed low carbon steel with approx. 0.29% carbon content. It is difficult to quench, and is not usually used directly after quenching.

1018 / A36 Tempering

To reduce grinding cracks or improve case toughness, temper the steel at a range of 302 – 392°F (150 – 200°C), this process has little or no effect on the hardness of the work pieces.

1018 / A36 Machining allowance / Dimensional changes

In general a plus of approx. 0.020 to 0.050 inches (0.5 to 1.27 mm) is added to the finishing dimensions. This gives room for machining and finishing a surface as desired.

1018 and A36 are soft and ductile steels and may not need the higher end of the range added for machining. If a tight finish is required it should be considered to add a little more. The same should be considered for a high quality finish. This can ensure that by machining to the required specifications there is enough material for each machining operation.

Dimensional changes, like thermal expansion, thermal contraction, residual stresses, stress relieving, mechanical deformation, machining and finishing can affect 1018 carbon steel. A36 mild steel might warp or distort while welding.

1018 / A36 Sub-Zero treatment

Both grades can be sub-zero treated but as both have a low carbon content they do not build much austenite that need transforming back into martensite. Sub-zero treating 1018 and A36 can relieve stress and might benefit the dimensional stability.

1018 / A36 Electrical Discharge Machining (EDM)

1018 / A36 steels can be machined by EDM even if they have been case- or surface hardened. As these are naturally soft steels they can be easily machined in the traditional way. EDM can be used when more complex parts or a smooth surface finish is needed.

1018 / A36 Normalizing

Normalizing is only occasionally used on 1018 / A36 and can be done prior to surface hardening. For this, heat the work piece to a range of 1634 – 1724°F (890 – 910°C) and then cool down in still air.

Normalizing 1018 / A36 can refine the grain structure and relieve internal stresses. If specific mechanical properties are needed or the material is prepared for further heat treatment, normalizing these material grades can be helpful.

1018 / A36 Surface treatment

1018 / A36 can be surface treated to make its appearance smoother, make it more durable or nitrided to give this grade a harder surface. Either or both make the steel more corrosion resistant and more appealing.

Can 1018 / A36 be nitrided?

Due to the low alloy content in these two steel grades, it does not make them a good choice for nitriding.

Apart from not getting the wear resistance other steel grades get by nitriding, this process can cause the material dimensional changes.

1018 / A36 can be carburized and carbonitrided as shown below. 

1018 / A36 Case hardening

Heat the material to a temperature range of 1436 – 1508°F (780 – 820°C), and quench it after in water.

1018 / A36 Core refining

This process is optional, heat 1018 / A36 to 1436 – 1508°F (780 – 820°C) and moisten in oil or water.

1018 / A36 Carburizing

Heat the material at 1616 – 1680°F (880 – 920°C) for about 8 hours, then furnace cool it. 

Carburized steel offers a high surface hardness (up to 572 Hardness Brinell (56 Hardness Rockwell)) and a soft core (lower than 277 BHN (30 HRC)) to the work pieces. 

It is used to improve drilling, machining, threading, and punching processes and prevents cracking when bending severely. 

1018 / A36 Carbonitriding

The temperature for carbonitriding is 1450 – 1650°F (790 – 900°C) followed by cooling the work pieces in oil.

1018 / A36 Machinability

1018 / A36 has a machinability score of 6 on a scale where 1 is low and 6 is high.

Machining 1018 / A36 gives this low carbon steel a great finish, continuous and hard chips and it can be machined in all conditions.

1018 / A36 Forging

Heat at 2102 – 2336°F (1150 – 1280°C) and hold until the temperature becomes constant. Then cool in air and do not forge under the temperature of 1652°F (900°C).

1018 / A36 Welding

Welding 1018 / A36 can be done by most conventional practices, e.g., resistance, submerge melt, oxyacetylene and gas welding. It is recommended to weld the material after carburizing or carbonitriding. Post- and pre-heating is not necessary; though pre-heating can be done for sections over 131/32 inches (50mm) and post-heating can be stress relieving.

1018 / A36 Wear resistance

1018 / A36 has wear resistance of 1 on a scale where 1 is low and 6 is high.

1018 / A36 Tensile strength

The tensile strength for 1018 / A36 is approx. 72.5 KSI (0.145KSI = 1MPa). This value is the result from a tensile test to show how much force is needed before the material starts to stretch or elongate before it breaks.

1018 / A36 Yield strength

The yield strength for 1018 / A36 is approx. 54 KSI (370 MPa). This value shows when the material starts to show plastic deformation.

1018 / A36 Working hardness

The working hardness for this material grade is in a range of 469 - 627 BHN (50 - 60 HRC).

1018 / A36 Specific heat capacity

The specific heat capacity for 1018 / A36 for temperatures in the range of 122 - 212°F (50 - 100°C) is at 486 J/kg-K (0.116Btu/lbm-°F). This value shows how much heat is needed to heat 1 lb of material by 1 fahrenheit.

1018 / A36 Continuous TTT-diagram

The following diagram shows the micro changes over time at different temperatures which are important during heat treatment. They show the optimum conditions for the processes such as hardening, annealing and normalizing.

1018 / A36 Isothermal TTT-diagram

The following diagram shows the structural changes at micro levels over time at a constant temperature. It shows at what temperatures the different phases, e.g., perlite, martensite and bainite start to form.

1018 and A36 Physical Properties

1018 Shear Modulus 

The shear modulus, also known as the modulus of rigidity, is a material constant for the  linear elastic deformation. It calculates the torsional rigidity for work pieces in torsional loads. 

The modulus of rigidity for steel at room temperature is at 79.3GPa (11501 KSI), where aluminum at the same temperature has for example 25.5 GPa (3698 KSI).    

1018 / A36 Hot working

A36 is a structural steel and has good hot forming characteristics and can be hot worked.

1018 / A 36 Cold working

In the annealed condition, the microstructure of the 1018 consists of ferrite and small amounts of pearlite, its strength and hardness are low, its plasticity and toughness are better. As a result, the cold formability is good and it can be cold formed into shape by cold drawing, stamping, bending and crimping for example. To overcome the tendency to work hardening, intermediate annealing is required.

1018 / A36 Steel density

At room temperature the density for 1018 / A36 is 0.284lb/in3 (7.85g/cm3).

1018 / A36 Thermal conductivity

The heat conductivity for 1018 / A36 is at 51.9 W/(m*K) (360 BTU/(h-ft*°F)) at room temperature.

Heat conductivity table
Value By temperature
51.9 68 °F
50.8 212 °F
48.9 392 °F

1018 /A36 Thermal expansion coefficient

The following table shows expansion or contraction at various temperatures,  which may be very important for high temperature works or when working with high temperature changes.

Medium thermal expansion coefficient
10-6m/(m • K) At a temperature of
12.0 68 - 212 °F
13.5 68 - 752 °F
14.5 68 - 1112 °F

1018 / A36 Specific elasticity resistivity

The following table shows the electrical resistivity of 1018 / A36.

Table of the specific electrical resistivity
Value At a temperature of
~ 0.159 (Ohm*mm²)/m ~ 32 °F
~ 0.219 (Ohm*mm²)/m ~ 212 °F
~ 0,293 (Ohm*mm²)/m ~ 392 °F

1018 / A36 Modulus of elasticity (Young’s Modulus)

The stress and strain modulus or modulus of elasticity (Young’s modulus) for 1018 / A36 is at 29700 KSI (205GPa).

Is 1018 / A36 a knife steel

1018 / A36 is a low carbon steel (Carbon content between 0 and 0.29%) which makes it nearly impossible to harden through.  It does not allow for a good edge retention and would not deliver a very good quality knife. Therefore 1018 / A36 is not a knife steel.

1018 Steel / A36 Steel advantages and disadvantages!

The 1018 has, compared to the A36, a smoother finish as it is cold drawn which makes it ideal for precision parts. The 1018 has excellent machinability, whereas the A36 is harder to machine. 1018 and A36 both have a good weldability. A36 has got a good tensile- and yield strength compared to 1018. A36 can get brittle when cooled too quickly.

When making a choice which material grade to use, it is recommended to have a close look at the needed properties and what applications they will be used for.

1018 / A36 Steel summary

To conclude both steel grades have their advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider what the materials should be able to withstand and to understand the differences before choosing which grade to use.

1018 / A36 Datasheet 

As a supplier we provide you with the datasheet for 1018 / A36 in PDF format.

1018 / A36 Steel equivalent or alternative

With our patented ABRAMS STEEL GUIDE®, you are able to find an equivalent or an alternative to the  1018 / A36 or a compatible steel and its properties in no time. 

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The data shown here has been compiled with the greatest diligence and is regularly updated with regard to the correctness and completeness of its content. The content is indicative only and should not be taken as a warranty of specific properties of the product described or a warranty of suitability for a particular purpose. All information presented is given in good faith and no liability will be accepted for actions taken by third parties in reliance on this information. ABRAMS Industries reserves the right to change or amend the information given here in full or parts without prior notice.