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What is the difference between Steel and Stainless Steel?

Feb 8, 2018 14:29 IST
    Differences between Steel and Stainless Steel

    Steel and Stainless steel both are metals and the common materials used in the world. They are widely used as commercial and consumer applications. Between steel and stainless steel the property varies in terms of strength, ductility, hardness, cost, etc. Also, the main difference lies in the components that are added to the steel to make it useful. This article deals with the differences between steel and stainless steel.
    Differences between Steel and Stainless steel
    1. Steel is made by adding iron to carbon, which hardens the iron. It is also known as plain carbon steel or mild steel which has higher carbon content with low melting point. On the other hand Stainless steel has a high chromium content that forms an invisible layer on the surface of the steel to prevent it from staining.
    2. When stainless steel is prepared from steel, chromium, nickel, nitrogen and molybdenum is added. Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and steel are prone to stains and rusting. Stainless steel does not rust or corrode easily.
    3. Strength of steel and stainless steel: Steel is slightly stronger than stainless steel as it has lower carbon content. Also, it is weaker than steel in terms of hardness.

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    4. Magnetic properties: Usually stainless steel is non-magnetic i.e. the 300 series of stainless steel contains chromium and nickel, which make it non-magnetic but the 400 series of stainless steel contains only chromium which makes it magnetic whereas steel is magnetic.
    5. Appearance: Carbon steel is dull, with matte finish, whereas stainless steel is lustrous. The coating of chromium on stainless steel makes it attractive in its natural state without needing to be painted.
    6. Carbon steel is more malleable, durable and heat distribution is also proper as compared to stainless steel.
    7. Stainless steel has lower thermal conductivity as compared to steel.
    8. Carbon steel is stiff and strong. They are extensively used in motors and electrical appliances due to its magnetic properties and welding can be done easily in carbon steel as compared to stainless steel. Stainless steel is used in cutlery and watch raps.
    9. Weight: Mild Steel weighs less than that of stainless steel. Due to hardening properties stainless steel weighs more and has lesser occupancy as it is difficult to handle in the manufacturing process.
    10. Mild steel is commonly used and its price is low as compared to stainless steel.
    From the above article we have learnt about steel and stainless steel, their properties, texture, composition, etc.

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