The Mechanical Properties of A36 Steel


American Society for Testing and Materials A36 steel is a low-carbon structural steel used primarily as a cladding or strengthening material. Its special formulation is designed to create the maximum amount of strength for the least amount of cost. While the steel lacks some of the machining characteristics of more complicated grades such as D2, it remains a popular steel in industry.

Strength-Related Properties

  • ASTM A36 has an ultimate tensile strength, or the pressure needed to pull the steel apart, of between 400 and 550 mega Pascals (58,000 to 79,800 pounds per square inch). In terms of the steel's yield strength, or pressure required to begin bending the steel, A36 has a yield strength of 250 MPa (36,300 psi).

Elastic Properties

  • ASTM A36 has a modulus of elasticity, a measurement of the steel's ability to spring back after being bent, of 200 GPa (29,000 ksi). If broken at the ultimate tensile strength threshold, the steel has an elongation of 20 percent when 200 mm thick.

Miscellaneous Properties

  • The density of A36 steel, or the measurement of the mass per volume, is 7.85 grams per cubic centimeter (.284 pounds per square inch).The shear modulus is 79.3 GPa (11,500 ksi).


  • When looking at the mechanical properties of A36, consideration must be made as to the sizes and forms the steel is typically found in. A36 is primarily manufactured in plate form in thicknesses ranging from .25 inches to 2 inches. It is also found in angle, bar and sometimes tube form as well.

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