Carbon Steel vs Stainless Steel

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There are more than 5,000 types of steel, each with specific characteristics and functionalities. This metal is not found naturally in nature, it has been created by man for his use.
Stainless steel and galvanized steel are two of its variations, each one has some element that differentiates it from the other and that gives it unique qualities.

steel variations

Steel is an alloy (A alloy is a homogeneous mixture of two or more elements, of which at least one must be a metal) which is composed mainly of iron and carbon, although it can include other elements to create variations with specific characteristics and functionality. 

These additional elements can be added in different proportions and combinations, resulting in a wide range of steel types with unique properties. 

The alloy composition of each type of steel, as well as the presence or absence of certain elements, influence its properties and uses. Therefore, the choice of the appropriate type of steel for a certain application will depend on the characteristics required for said application.

Let's see what the different types of steel are and what components we find in their composition.

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types of steel

Steels can be classified in two ways, according to their function and according to the elements present in their alloy.

Below we will talk about the main types of steel according to their alloy without leaving out the functionality of each of them.

Stainless steel

All steels are iron alloys, adding chromium to iron mixed with carbon we obtain stainless steel. 

In this alloy composed of iron, carbon and chromium as an additional element, the percentage of chromium present in the alloy must be greater than 10%, otherwise we cannot consider it stainless steel. 

When chrome comes into contact with oxygen, it reacts and creates a thin and invisible layer that protects from the effects of external agents, that is, the presence of chrome is what makes it stainless.

Carbon Steel

It is the most manufactured type of steel, and it is not as shiny as stainless steel, its tone is dull, it is sensitive to corrosion, however it is a very strong metal.

The uses of carbon steel and its types are varied, it has categories that vary according to the amount of carbon present in them and the presence of other elements such as silicon and manganese, among others. 

 The presence of carbon gives them a lot of hardness and rigidity, so their flexibility and malleability are lower the more carbon is present in their alloy. 

Alloy or special steel

 Alloy steel is created by adding elements such as nickel, copper and aluminum to the base compound of iron and carbon. They are used in the manufacture of metal elements, pressure devices, pipes.

Alloy steels with the proper amount of copper are used for electrical applications.

Another important application of this type of steel is the manufacture of bearings for vehicles and machinery.

Despite being cheaper, they also have high resistance to corrosion.

The number of applications where they are used is enough since their qualities vary according to the additional elements they have.

Tool Steel 

Its name is given precisely because of its main use. It is used for the manufacture of metal tools, such as pliers, hammers and wrenches, among others.

The additional components that differentiate it are cobalt, molybdenum and tungsten, these give it its qualities of durability and heat resistance, among others.

What is the best steel? What is the strongest steel? They are the type of questions that we usually receive in our consultancies, the best answer to this question will always be, it depends.

Knowing which steel is better or worse than the other is practically an opinion, each one of them has particular characteristics that make it perfect for different functions.

In this article we will focus on two types of steel, carbon steel and stainless steel.

We will see the properties and characteristics of each one and we will leave you the task of deciding which one is the most suitable for your industry.

In Perez Precision Works We are specialists in carrying out projects made of steel. If you still have questions about which steel is most suitable for you, do not hesitate to contact us. contact us, We will wait for you.

Carbon Steel vs Stainless Steel
Which is better?

Stainless steel is the best known and coveted type of steel on the market, it is the most expensive of all, but the benefits it provides make its price more than justified. 

Carbon steel is the type of steel with the largest number of applications, and its cost is much lower than that of stainless steel.

Stainless steel is the perfect metal for use in outdoor environments, those that will be in contact with external agents, such as rain, sun, wind, among others.

Its resistance to corrosion allows it to last for many years, keeping its properties intact with the least amount of maintenance. 

Carbon steel, despite having great strength and hardness, does not have the resistance against external agents that stainless steel has.

When carbon steel is used in outdoor environments, more maintenance is required, oil paints should also be used to create a protective layer.

Stainless steel is used in the construction of vehicles and in the manufacture of industrial kitchens thanks to its finish and bright tone.

For its part, carbon steel has a more rudimentary finish and a darker tone, its use is intended for more rigid pieces used for resistance work.

Due to its hardness and resistance, carbon steel is the most widely used type of steel, it is used in construction, machinery manufacturing, spare parts for equipment, and tools. 

In the field of kitchen utensils, both types of steel, stainless and carbon, are used, each with its disadvantages and advantages.

Stainless steel knives are much more durable knives and need only the basic care and hygiene that should always be observed with all the utensils in our kitchen.

Its negative points are few but in this case it is of the utmost importance, due to its regeneration capacity and durability, they are knives that are difficult to sharpen, something crucial in the kitchen.

For their part, carbon steel knives are used in many kitchens more than stainless steel ones. Why?

Although they require greater care because they are more prone to corrosion, carbon steel knives are easier to sharpen, which is essential in food preparation.

We have already told you, there is no better or worse type of steel.

There is a suitable steel for each place and for each function, you should always seek advice from specialists to determine which is correct in each case.

You should not worry if you are not sure which is the right steel for your needs, contact us, we will know.