Compared to other types of steel, mild steel is more ductile, machinable, weldable, formable, and cost-effective. Mild steel manufacturing is also recyclable, and due to its high iron and ferrite content, it's magnetic.
Mild steel has a lower tensile strength and cannot be hardened by heating/quenching methods. Adding alloying elements, like chromium or copper, may combat this. Or the steel can be galvanized.
(+) Most cost-effective
(+) Most weldability
(+) Good ductility
(+/-) Very machinable, equally comparable to other materials
(+/-) Lower range of tensile/yield strength
A1008 is a popular grade of cold rolled mild steel as the process of cold rolling offers some benefits: hardness and strength are increased as the yield strength improves from cold rolling, and a thinner gauge of material becomes possible. Cold rolled mild steel also leaves a smooth surface, which can be very desirable for some applications. Like other mild steels a finishing service like powder coating is recommended where the steel will be exposed to outside elements and weather.
A36/44W hot rolled mild steel is the most common choice for steel structural applications, not only does the hot rolling process give it a rough-textured surface that's ideal for hiding imperfections/discolouration from welding and improving grip, but a hot rolled mild steel will be more malleable and easier to form than a cold rolled option.
When metal is galvanized this means it has been zinc coated. This is done through hot dipping, or in some cases cold rolling. Galvanized metal most commonly refers to ferrous metals (specifically galvanization of mild steel) but aluminum may be galvanized as well. This process is desirable as it provides a highly sought after corrosion resistance, and leaves the surface with a spangled finish.
Satin coated steel, also commonly referred to as galvanneal or wipe-coat, is a secondary finishing process. This follows galvanization where the material is then immediately passed through a furnace to heat it further causing the base iron and zinc coating to diffuse into each other. What’s left is a soft matte finish greyish in colour. This finish makes it ideal for painting (such as powder coating) and improves the formability of the material.