1018 Bar Stock vs. 1045 Bar Stock: A Comparison

When it comes to choosing the right materials for various applications, the selection of steel can significantly impact the outcome. Two common choices in the world of steel bar stock are 1018 and 1045. These alloys share some similarities but also possess distinct properties that make them suitable for different purposes. In this comprehensive article, we will conduct an in-depth comparison of 1018 bar stock and 1045 bar stock, exploring their composition, mechanical characteristics, applications, and helping you make informed decisions when choosing between them.

  • Introduction to 1018 Bar Stock and 1045 Bar Stock
  • Composition
    • 1018 Bar Stock
    • 1045 Bar Stock
  • Mechanical Properties
    • Tensile Strength
    • Yield Strength
    • Elongation
    • Hardness
  • Machinability
  • Applications
    • 1018 Bar Stock Applications
    • 1045 Bar Stock Applications
  • Cost Comparison
  • FAQs

Introduction to 1018 Bar Stock and 1045 Bar Stock

What is 1018 Bar Stock?

1018 bar stock, also known as cold-rolled steel, is a low carbon steel alloy. The ‘1018’ in its name represents its grade, while ‘bar stock’ indicates its typical form: long, cylindrical bars. This alloy contains approximately 0.18% carbon, which significantly influences its properties and applications.

What is 1045 Bar Stock?

1045 bar stock, on the other hand, is a medium carbon steel alloy. It contains around 0.45% carbon, which gives it higher strength and hardness compared to 1018 bar stock. Like 1018, it is often used in various industries for its excellent machinability.


To understand the differences between these two materials, let’s explore their compositions in more detail.

1018 Bar Stock

  • Carbon Content: Approximately 0.18%
  • Alloying Elements: Minimal alloying elements, primarily iron and carbon.

1045 Bar Stock

  • Carbon Content: Approximately 0.45%
  • Alloying Elements: Minimal alloying elements, primarily iron and carbon.

Mechanical Properties

The mechanical properties of these materials play a vital role in determining their suitability for different applications.

Tensile Strength

  • 1018 Bar Stock: Tensile strength ranges from 370 MPa to 500 MPa.
  • 1045 Bar Stock: Tensile strength typically falls between 565 MPa and 710 MPa.

Yield Strength

  • 1018 Bar Stock: Yield strength varies from 275 MPa to 345 MPa.
  • 1045 Bar Stock: Yield strength is typically higher, ranging from 410 MPa to 580 MPa.


  • 1018 Bar Stock: Offers excellent elongation properties, often exceeding 15%.
  • 1045 Bar Stock: Elongation values are typically lower, often around 10% or less.


  • 1018 Bar Stock: Has a moderate hardness, with Brinell hardness values ranging from 126 to 183 HB.
  • 1045 Bar Stock: Offers higher hardness, with Brinell hardness values typically ranging from 163 to 229 HB.


Both 1018 and 1045 bar stocks are known for their excellent machinability. They can be easily turned, drilled, milled, and shaped, making them ideal choices for precision machining projects.


The choice between 1018 and 1045 bar stock depends on the specific requirements of your project. Let’s explore their common applications.

1018 Bar Stock Applications

  • Precision Machining: 1018 bar stock is often used to create precision components due to its excellent machinability.
  • Fasteners: It is a popular choice for the production of bolts, screws, and other fasteners.
  • Construction: Used in construction for structural components such as beams and supports.

1045 Bar Stock Applications

  • Shafts and Axles: 1045 bar stock is commonly used in the automotive and machinery industries for manufacturing shafts and axles.
  • Gears and Sprockets: Its higher strength and hardness make it suitable for gears, sprockets, and other power transmission components.
  • Hydraulic Shafts: Often used in hydraulic systems for its combination of strength and machinability.

Cost Comparison

Cost can also be a significant factor in material selection.

  • 1018 Bar Stock: Generally more cost-effective and budget-friendly compared to 1045 bar stock.
  • 1045 Bar Stock: Tends to be relatively more expensive due to its higher carbon content and associated properties.


Q1. Which steel is better for machining: 1018 or 1045 bar stock?

A1. Both 1018 and 1045 bar stocks are excellent for machining. The choice depends on your project’s requirements. If you need higher strength and hardness, 1045 is preferable. If machinability and cost are priorities, 1018 is a better choice.

Q2. Are these materials weldable?

A2. Yes, both 1018 and 1045 bar stocks are weldable. However, it’s essential to follow proper welding procedures, and post-weld heat treatment may be necessary for 1045 to prevent cracking.

Q3. Can 1018 and 1045 bar stocks be heat-treated for specific applications?

A3. Yes, both materials can be heat-treated to alter their properties. 1045 bar stock is particularly amenable to heat treatment to achieve desired strength and hardness levels.

Q4. In what industries are these materials commonly used?

A4. Both 1018 and 1045 bar stocks find applications in industries such as automotive, manufacturing, construction, and agriculture, among others, depending on their specific properties and strengths.

In conclusion, the choice between 1018 and 1045 bar stock depends on your project’s unique requirements, including strength, hardness, and cost considerations. Understanding their differences in composition and mechanical properties is crucial for making the right selection to meet your project’s needs.

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