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What is Bright Mild Steel Flat Bar?

Published by Rapid Metals on

At Rapid Metals, we supply a wide range of steel in a selection of different forms, including bright mild steel flat bars. They are one of the most versatile types of steel and can be used across multiple applications – commercial or otherwise – but few people know what a bright mild steel flat bar is, let alone how useful it can be. 

If you’re unsure whether a bright flat bar could be suitable for your projects, we’ve put together this guide detailing exactly what the material is and what it can be used for, allowing you make a more informed buying decision. 

What is Bright Mild Steel?

Bright mild steel is a type of mild steel, and this, in turn, is a form of carbon steel. Carbon steel does not have any alloying elements; it is made up of carbon and iron. There are three grades of carbon steel: mild, medium and high. Mild steel has a lower carbon content than medium and high steel, with no more than 0.25% carbon. 

Carbon steel is incredibly strong which makes it tricky to work with and mould. For this reason, it tends to be hot rolled, including mild steel. This makes it easier to manipulate. Bright mild steel is cold rolled rather than hot rolled. 

How is Bright Mild Steel Made?

As briefly mentioned, bright mild steel differs from regular mild steel because the two are made differently. Bright mild steel is manufactured through cold rolling, sometimes referred to as cold drawn and finished. 

This means the steel is processed at a temperature that is below the recrystallisation temperature. When steel reaches its recrystallisation temperature, the grain structure can be altered. This makes the processing time lesser and cheaper, but it results in metal that has less tensile strength and that has distortions as a result of the cooling process. 

By comparison, cold drawn steel is processed at room temperature. This means additional pressure and several passes through the machine rollers are required to get to the finished product. 

Benefits of Bright Mild Steel 

Carbon steel in all its forms is known for being exceptionally stronger than other types of steel, though the higher the carbon count, the harder the metal is to manipulate and mould. Mild steel has the benefit of containing less carbon, therefore making it more malleable, but this comes at the detriment of it being less strong than medium and high carbon steels.

As a result of the cold rolling process used to create bright mild steel, the metal undergoes increased pressure which betters its tensile strength. This means bright mild steel can withstand greater pressure and tension than traditional mild steel. 

Another benefit of bright mild steel is that it has a more refined finish compared to mild steel. During the hot rolling process, metal is heated to beyond its recrystallisation temperature. This means that as the metal cools and shrinks, there could be deformities and discrepancies in thickness. Not just this, but the dimensions can be slightly skewed. 

Cold rolling results in a much more precise and polished finish, making it better for applications where well-defined edges and a smoother surface are needed. 

What is a Bright Mild Steel Flat Bar?

A bright mild steel flat bar is a rectangular bar of bright mild steel. As one of the UK’s leading bright flat bar suppliers, we provide flat bars in a wide range of sizes and thicknesses to suit all manner of applications.

What Can Bright Mild Steel Flat Bars be Used For? 

On the whole, both mild steel and bright mild steel are incredibly useful. The former is commonly used to create car parts and wires, but it’s also used to make smaller items like cutlery and screw fixings. 

Bright mild steel is mostly used in engineering. Whilst it’s stronger and harder than other types of steel, it can be susceptible to internal stress, so it’s typically used in low-stress applications. With this in mind, as a general material, you’ll often find bright mild steel in things like bolts and axles, as well as all manner of machinery. 

Flat bars can easily be cut down and welded, and they’re commonly used to create frames and plates of varying descriptions. They can also be used on a larger scale within construction, but they do need to be treated to avoid rusting.

Where to Buy Bright Mild Steel Flat Bars 

Whether you’re looking to buy a small amount of bright mild steel for a DIY hobbyist project, or if you’re looking for a larger quantity, we can help. We offer a broad selection of bright flat bar sizes available to order online for your convenience.

Ordering from us is easy – simply choose the width and thickness you need, enter the length you require (we cut every flat bar to size), and then choose your desired quantity. Finally, check out securely. For those based in the UK, we ship flat bars up to 3m long. If you need a longer bright mild steel flat bar, feel free to come into our Coventry or Redditch branches. 

If you’re unsure whether bright mild steel flat bars are the correct solution for you, contact us and we will be happy to advise you on the properties of bright mild steel and if it’s suitable for you.

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