Posted in | Steels

Low Carbon Engineering Steel - EN3B (080A15)

EN3B (080A15) is utilized in several general engineering applications. It is a bright mild steel product which is used in general engineering and welding applications. EN3B is often specified where good welding features are required as the material is easily welded. It is ideal in applications where heat treatments and heavy stresses are usually not present. Previously, EN3B was one of the most widely used bright mild steel products on the market; however, it has been substituted in some application areas with steel products providing excellent chemical composition.

Excellent Weldability

EN3B (080A15) is typically supplied as bright drawn bar but it can also be supplied hot rolled. It is selected particularly for its welding capabilities as it preserves good flow and strength features during and after welding. EN3B is a low-strength material and will yield and distort if exposed to stress. It will also bend before shearing thus the material is not appropriate for stressed applications. Therefore, it is the weldability of EN3B that establishes its use — if good weldability is not a consideration and better machinability is needed then a free cutting steel such as EN1A should be looked at as a suitable alternative.


EN3B can be machined at moderately high speed with reasonable feeds; although machinability is comparatively easy, it should be kept in mind that surface ripping is a common issue unless sufficient lubricant is used during the machining process. The surface finish of EN3B (080A15) is also good after only minimum polishing. Screw cutting is also a basic task when performed with an appropriate cutting oil.

EN3B’s wear resistance can be enhanced with case hardening but hardenability is generally poor. Basically, bright mild steels are better when compared with black hot rolled steel. The straightness, dimensions, and flatness of hot rolled products are not particularly precise whereas bright drawn steels are made to much tighter dimensional tolerances. Consequently, EN3B can be bought in incremental sizes which will be much closer to your finished size requirements. When delivered in the cold drawn condition, EN3B (080A15) can tolerate higher levels of stress, particularly on smaller diameters.


EN3B (080A15) is used in a wide range of commercial applications – for instance, bright flats are used extensively in the tooling sector. Other engineering applications include:

  • Lightly stressed fixing such as spacers, hubs, bushings, shafts, and bolts
  • Welded and riveted structures
  • Linkages, brackets, and baseplates
  • Forgings, hot pressings, and machine parts

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