Difference between Carbon Steel and Stainless steel and their Definitions

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What Is Carbon Steel?

One of the most popular and widely used building materials in the world includes steel. There are many types of steel, and carbon steel is one of them. Steel with a carbon content of more than 0.8% can be classified as high carbon steel. This particular steel is approximately very hard and brittle. So improper use is likely to break smoothly.

Steel with carbon as the main alloy component is called carbon steel. According to the content of its basic ingredients, it can be divided into the following categories.

  1. Low or Mild Carbon Steel

Low carbon steel or low carbon steel contains 0.16-0.29% carbon. Compared with other types of steel, this steel is inexpensive and therefore has a wide range of uses. Low carbon steel has relatively low durability and strength because it contains a relatively small amount of main components. It is used in places where a large amount of steel is needed. This kind of steel is suitable for various construction purposes.

2. Medium Steel

Another noteworthy carbon steel variety, it is very strong and durable. It is commonly used for automotive parts and large metal structures.

3. High Carbon Steel

This kind of steel is very strong and is generally used to make high-strength wires and springs.

4. Ultra-High Steel

These steels are mainly used for non-industrial uses because it is very hard and strong. It is used to produce axles, tools and other hard materials.

Benefits of carbon steel: Compared with other types of metals, this unique difference of steel has considerable advantages. Its use and function may vary according to personal purposes. Because of its great strength and durability, it is used to build masonry nails and cutting tools. Steel with high carbon content has a huge level of hardness. Therefore, it is used in many industries to manufacture metal cutting tools and machinery.

What Is Stainless Steel?

It is a mixture of mild steel and chromium. It is the chromium content that gives the metal its anti-corrosion and “stainless” properties. Stainless steel is a steel mixture containing chromium. It contains at least 11% chromium. It is different from carbon steel because it contains chromium, which helps prevent metal corrosion. For carbon steel, when it is exposed to air or moisture, it corrodes quickly.

The melting point range of stainless steel: The fixed melting point of Fe (pure iron) is 1535°C, Cr (chromium) is 1890°C, Ni (nickel) is 1453°C, and the melting point of 304 SS (stainless steel) ranges from 1400-1450°C.

Types of Stainless Steel:

  • Martensitic Steel: Chromium and carbon
  • Austenitic Steel: Chromium-nickel alloys
  • Ferritic Steel: Plain chromium steels
  • Duplex Steel: A mixture of austenitic and ferritic
  • Precipitation Hardening Steel: Chromium-nickel

Benefits of stainless steel:

  • One of the advantages of stainless steel is that it has high resistance to scaling and corrosion. As we all know, it is one of the most hygienic materials on earth because it is essentially non-porous.
  • It is easy to clean and maintain. Therefore, it is widely used in industries, hospitals and other places where clean and sanitary materials are required.
  • Stainless steel looks delicate because it exudes a dazzling and clean appearance. Compared with other materials, it has excellent durability and strength.
  • Choosing the right type of steel for the project is one of the most important decisions. However, before deciding on each grade, you must first decide which steel to use, such as carbon steel or stainless steel.

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Arbaj Demrot is the founder of VideRime Online Learning, a leading engineering website. He did his BE Civil and M.Tech Structure from RGPV University, Bhopal and has been working as an Assistant Professor in a reputed college.

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