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What is ASTM A36?

ASTM A36 is a hot-rolled and mild steel that is strong, flexible and easily machinable, making it one of the most popular types of steel in common usage.


The ASTM A36 standard covers low-carbon steels that are commonly used in construction and other heavy industries.

The American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) designate A36 by both its chemical composition and mechanical properties, especially yield strength which must reach a minimum of 250 MPa or 36000 psi.


A36 steel comprises of 98 wt.% iron, 1.03 wt.% manganese, 0.04 wt.% phosphorus, 0.28 wt.% silicon, 0.05 wt.% sulphur and 0.25 to 0.29 wt.% carbon.

The mechanical properties of ASTM A36 include:

  • Yield strength: minimum 250 MPa
  • Ultimate tensile strength: 400 to 550 MPa
  • Young’s modulus: 200 GPa
  • Bulk modulus: 140 GPa
  • Poisson's ratio: 0.26

A36 steel can be hardened using a variety of heat treatment processes including:

  • Normalising, which takes place in the range 899 °C to 954 °C
  • Carburising, which takes place in the range 899 °C to 927 °C
  • Hardening, which takes place in the range 788 °C to 816 °C
  • Stress relieving, which takes place in the range 677 °C to 927 °C

Applications of ASTM A36

Due to the relatively good strength, formability of A36 steel, and the fact that it can be easily welded, it is commonly used as a structural steel. It can be found in buildings, bridges and other large-scale structures.

A36 steel is available in many forms, including sheets, rectangular bars, circular rods, beams and angled cross-sections. It is ideal for grinding, tapping, drilling, punching and machining. A36 is often galvanised to prevent corrosion.

Other industries that frequently use A36 steel include automotive, aerospace, oil and gas and manufacturers of heavy machinery.

Equivalent Grades

ASTM A36 is equivalent to EN S275 steel plate.


M.L. Bauccio, ASM Metals Reference Book, 3rd Edition. ASM International, 1993.