American Iron and Steel Institute
Grading of AISI Materials
A basic four-digit system is used by the SAE system to designate the chemical composition of alloy steels and carbon steels. There is a possibility that AISI grades are quoted as SAE grades and very often the same steel identification number is present in AISI/SAE standards. A four-digit number is usually given to the AISI alloy steels and carbon steels. The alloying element in the AISI specification is indicated by the first two digits and the amount of carbon is indicated by the last two digits.
The chemical composition of alloy steels and carbon steels is further explained in the figure given below through a schematic representation of the AISI/SAE steel designation system.