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Both 1040 and 1045 steels are popular at Capital Steel & Wire, and both have different chemical and mechanical characteristics. These also help determine different applications for both grades of steel.

Chemical Makeup

To see differences in chemical characteristics of 1040 and 1045 it is best to do a side by side comparrison.

  1040 1045
Iron, Fe 98.6-99% 98.51-98.98%
Carbon, C 0.40% 0.45% 
Manganese, Mn 0.60-0.90% 0.60-0.90% 
Phosphorus, P (max) 0.04% 0.04% 
Sulfur, S (max) 0.05% 0.05% 

Carbon content of both steel grades determines the last two digits of their grade number. The carbon content of 1040 steel is 0.40%, while 1045 has a carbon content of 0.45%. The first digit “1” identifies that they are both carbon steels, and the second digit “0” identifies that there were no modifications to the alloy.

Mechanical Properties

Whether steel is in the hot rolled or cold drawn form plays a major role in determining mechanical properties. The majority of 1040 and 1045 steel is purchased in cold drawn state, but we provided graphs of both hot rolled and cold drawn mechanical properties for both 1040 and 1045.

Here is a comparison chart of 1040 and 1045 hot rolled steel mechanical properties:

   1040 Hot Rolled 1045 Hot Rolled
Tensile Strength 76,000 psi  82,000 psi
Yield Strength  42,000 psi  45,000 psi 
Elongation in 2″  18%  16% 
Reduction in Area  40% 40% 
Brinell Hardness  149  163 

Here is a comparison chart of 1040 and 1045 cold drawn steel mechanical properties:

   1040 Cold Drawn 1045 Cold Drawn
Tensile Strength 85,000 psi  91,000 psi
Yield Strength  71,000 psi  77,000 psi 
Elongation in 2″  12%  12% 
Reduction in Area  35% 35% 
Brinell Hardness  170  179 

Real Life Applications

1045 has slightly increased tensile strength and yield strength numbers than 1040 as a result of a slightly higher carbon content. Also, as a result of higher carbon content, 1045 is not as easy to weld as 1040.