Comparison Between Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel
All kinds of steel are used in manufacturing, including aerospace and kitchenware. These diverse uses require a versatile material, and steel is the right choice.
Two items made from steel don’t necessarily have to be the same. There are many types of steel. Mostly used ones being carbon steel and stainless steel. Although both may appear the same, there is a key difference between the two.
Although ‘steel’ can be used to describe a whole family of metal alloys with hundreds of application-specific grades, most people only know two main categories of steel: carbon steel or stainless steel. Polycase is a big fan of steel because of its unique properties. Steel enclosures have many great benefits that customers love:
Ability to withstand severe weather conditions such as rain, snow, and sleet.
High security and resistance against unauthorized access.
High corrosion resistance in stainless steel enclosures.
Protection against airborne dust and other debris.
What does Carbon Steel actually refer to?
Carbon steel is by definition very simple. It is Iron with some Carbon and other limited elements. All steels that require alloying elements such as 4140 and 4340 are not carbon steels. Within the carbon steel classification, materials can be divided into low-carbon and high-carbon. The most popular are low-carbon steel. High-strength Steels are only suitable for use in non-corrosive environments. 1020 Steel, low-carbon steel, is extremely popular today.
What does Stainless Steel really mean?
If you ask any of the stainless-steel suppliers you will hear them say that all stainless steels share one common property: high corrosion resistance. This is due to a high Chromium (>10.5% per mass) and low carbon (1.2% per mass). These steels have a wide range of mechanical properties, beyond corrosion resistance.
This article will focus on the differences between stainless steel and carbon steel.
There are some general differences:
In stainless steel, there is an embedded chromium oxide coating that is not present in carbon steel.
Carbon steel can corrode, while stainless steel is resistant to corrosion
Stainless steel can be used in many consumer products, and it is also decoratively possible in construction. However, carbon steel is more preferred in manufacturing and production and projects where the steel is hidden from view.
Stainless Steel is more thermally conductive than Carbon steel.
How Can You Distinguish Between These Two Metals?
Stainless steel has a shiny finish and can be made in various grades to increase the amount of chromium. The steel’s reflective properties are almost as good as mirrors. Carbon steel and stainless steel can be easily distinguished by casual observers. Carbon steel has a dull finish, similar to cast iron pots or wrought iron fencing.
The Difference Between the Cost of These Two Materials.
Steel prices can vary depending on the type of steel you are buying and the composition of the steel. Stainless steel is generally more expensive than mild and medium-carbon steel. However, very high-carbon steel can cost as much or more than stainless steel. There are a lot of factors that influence the price of steel. It is first best to determine what your requirements are and then look into the options available and determine how much each one will cost for your project and which is more economic and suitable.
The Difference Between the Applications of These Two Materials.
The application will determine the type of steel that is used. Carbon steel can be used if steel is to be concealed as a structural component, and the exposure to corrosion is minimal. Stainless steel, with its greater corrosion resistance, offers better uptime in corrosive environments. Application of Stainless steel includes situations mainly where aesthetics is important because it offers a superior finish, which is ideal for such situations. You can also choose the type of steel based on your budget. Stainless steels are more expensive than plain carbon steel because they contain more alloying elements.
Before choosing between two types of steel, it is important to weigh all parameters.
The debate about carbon steel vs. stainless steel is more complex than initially thought. Carbon steel can be used to refer to two types of steel: traditional, low-alloy, and high-carbon steel.
Stainless steel is a far superior choice to low-carbon steel in terms of strength, hardness, and corrosion resistance. Although high carbon steel has strength comparable to or even exceeding stainless steel, it is still a rare material in the manufacturing industry. Stainless steel is very much used in corrosive and humid environments because of its properties. However, carbon steel is cheaper than stainless steel, and it’s better suited to large structural components like beams and tubes.
Although low-alloy steel has many advantages over carbon steel, it still lacks corrosion resistance. It can match the material properties and strength of stainless steel. As such, alloys like 4140 or 4340 are frequently machined and used in many areas where a little oxidation is present. Stainless steel is a better-grade material that can be used in industrial operations where quality cannot be compromised.
We hope that you must have understood the difference between stainless steel and carbon steel holistically. We are one of the top stainless-steel suppliers and stainless-steel manufacturers in India. Contact us now to know more about the services we provide!
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