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This chapter covers a broad range of low-carbon steels optimized for structural applications. Low-carbon structural steels are generally considered the highest-strength steels that can be welded without undue difficulty, even in the field. They include mild steels, carbon-manganese and niobium- and vanadium-containing steels, and high-strength low-alloy steels. Chapter 5 discusses the composition, microstructure, and properties of these workhorse materials and explains how to identify the cause of production-related issues such as lamellar tearing and ferrite-pearlite banding. It also describes some of the alloying variations that have been developed to improve machinability and the mechanisms by which they work.

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