Why compare the two steel grades of 1045 and 41Cr4?Indeed, 1045 comes from American Standard, carbon steel, while 41Cr4 comes from European standard, alloy steel.It seems that there is no connection betweem them.But the fact is that they are widely used in the machinery manufacturing industry.Then we are interested to compare their differences.

1.Chemical Composition

First of all, 1045 steel comes from American Standard ASTM A29, and 41Cr4, we can find it from EN10083 and EN10250.They belong to different types of grades under different national standards.

10450.43-0.50.15-0.350.6-0.9≤ 0.04 ≤ 0.045≤ 0.3
41Cr40.38-0.45≤ 0.40.6-0.9≤ 0.025≤ 0.0350.9-1.2

From the above table,we can see that the difference in chemical composition is mainly in the content of C,Cr P and S.

In the standard, Cr is only used as a residual element of 1045 steel, and its specified content is less than 0.3%. On the contrary, Cr is the most important and only alloying element of 41Cr4 steel, with a content of about 1%.This directly leads to the cost of 41Cr4 being higher than that of 1045 steel.

In terms of carbon content, the average carbon content of 1045 steel is 0.05% higher than that of 41Cr4.It is also worth noting that in terms of the control of harmful elements, the European standard 41Cr4 is obviously stricter than the American standard 1045.


According to the carbon equivalent calculation formula CE=C+Mn/6+(Cr+Mo+V)/5+(Ni+Cu)/15 recommended by the International Institute of Welding (IIW), we can roughly calculate that the CE value of 1045 steel is 0.59 , while the CE value of 41Cr4 is 0.75.

Although the carbon content of 41Cr4 is lower than that of 1045 steel, due to the presence of alloy Cr, the hardening tendency of 41Cr4 is greater than that of 1045 steel, the cracking tendency of 41Cr4 steel is greater than that of 1045.Therefore, the welding performance of 41Cr4 steel is worse than that of 1045 steel.


The main function of Cr in steel is to improve the hardenability of steel. Due to the presence of Cr element, the hardenability of 41Cr4 is significantly better than that of 1045 steel.

1045 vs 41Cr4 hardenability curve comparison chart

Hardenability curve comparison chart: 1045 vs 41Cr4

From the above hardenability curve comparison chart, we can also roughly judge that according to the distance from the water-cooled end corresponding to the same hardness value, 41Cr4 steel is much larger than 1045 steel, that is, the hardenability of 41Cr4 steel is better than that of 1045 steel.

4.Machining performance

1045 steel has better machinability which is easier to cut, cold bend, cold forge and other processing operations.Although 41Cr4 steel has better toughness, it is worse than 1045 steel in processing, but its comprehensive mechanical properties after quenching and tempering are better than 1045 steel.

5.Wear resistance

The resistance of 41Cr4 is better than that of 1045 steel. According to experimental data, 41Cr4 is about 1.7 times that of 1045 in terms of wear resistance.

It can be seen from the composition that 41Cr4 contains more chromium than 1045, which is the key to the better wear resistance of 41Cr4 than 1045 steel. 41Cr4 with high chromium content can harden the hardness deeper during heat treatment, while 1045 steel can only harden the outer surface of a few millimeters.


Since 41Cr4 contains certain alloy elements (mainly Cr), it has high hardness and strength after quenching and tempering heat treatment, so it is widely used in the machinery manufacturing industry to manufacture high-strength mechanical parts,such as gears, shafts, connecting rods, etc.

Relatively, the hardness and strength of 1045 steel are relatively low, and it is suitable for the manufacture of general low-strength parts.

With many years of experience in the machinery industry, we are confident and capable of providing better quality 1045 steel and 41Cr4 steel.If you have this demand, please feel free to contact us.