With so many different types of steel out there, it is no wonder that one gets confused trying to differentiate them. Apart from them being vastly different in their uses and durability, they are also made in different ways with very different components and composition. Understanding the difference in components of steel is a great way to determine which type of steel to choose and how it is suitable to your needs. In this article, we will look at the key differences between stainless steel and mild steel, in order to better understand them and help us make the right choice next time.
Mild steel, which is also known as low carbon steel, is a form of steel alloy made up of the mixture of iron and low carbon content (< 0.5%). It is one of the most common forms of steel, which is used in a variety of ways, particularly in the transport and construction industries. Compared to steel with high carbon content, it is far more ductile. It can be transformed into many shapes, from steel sheets to beams, depending on its use.
Stainless steel is a steel alloy that is made up of iron with a chromium content not less than 11.5%. Unlike other steels, it is known for not corroding or rusting easily. The chromium is what prevents it from staining and resistant to oxidizing. While not 100% rust proof, it is certainly much less likely to go through weather damage in comparison to regular steel.
How are Mild Steel and Stainless Steel different?
Stainless steel, as its name suggests, is more resistant to corrosion. Mild steel, on the other hand, corrodes much easily and needs to be galvanized to prevent corrosion. Its high durability makes stainless steel highly sought after, especially for uses that require aesthetic integrity.
Due to the presence of chromium, stainless steel is also resistant to high impact. In contrast, mild steel is malleable and is easily produced and shaped for various usage. As such, it is widely used on construction and manufacturing industries. Its ability to be stretched into steel sheets, beams or rods makes it an ideal option for non-aesthetic and versatile uses. With high volume of production, mild steel is the most convenient and cost-effective option.
Despite being resistant to water-based corrosion, stainless steel is less ductile than mild steel. With lower hardness, mild steel is much easier to weld and is a more attractive choice for large-scale work. Given its composition, mild steel is lighter and can be easily transported in large quantities. This is another reason why mild steel is widely used in construction and building of structures.
The last key difference is the cost of production. The components in stainless steel make it expensive to produce, unlike regular carbon steel. The high cost is attributed to the cost of raw ingredients and the manufacturing process. The production of stainless steel requires more steps and highly skilled workers, as compared to mild steel. Hence, many people will opt for mild steel over stainless steel due to economic reasons.
Whether you choose mild steel or stainless steel, it will depend on your specific needs. At Kian Huat Metal, we offer a wide range of mild steel and stainless steel products at competitive prices that will fit your requirements. If you are unsure about which steel works best for you, we will be glad to offer you a free consultation and help you understand better.