The advent of industrialization created this “era of convenience” that we live in and as we know, this modernization will be unsuccessful without the invention of the most frequently used metal in the industry today — the steel.
It is everywhere; from the bridges that connect places to others, the electrical lines that serve as means to deliver electricity in our households, the machines and tools we use daily. It has a huge impact in our lives today and as far as functionality is measured, it is the most practical, versatile, and useful.
Basically, steel is an alloy of carbon and iron but the differences in component percentage and the numerous alloying elements to be added in the process determine its properties depending on the intended usage. And as a matter of fact, CARBON STEEL and STAINLESS STEEL are two of the broadest categories of steel if chemical composition is to be considered.
And since determining the accurate type of steel to be used tantamount to the project’s success, it is delineated below the number of differences between the two aforementioned steels and their uses and effects with regards to metallurgy.
Carbon steel has an immense hardness and strength. The context of durability endows carbon steel an edge and preference over the other types since it is commonly used to withstand pressure and damage.
Its distinctive quality of being shock-resistant is something that most of the people within the construction industry look for, making carbon steel a popular choice in construction, piping, and manufacturing of tools.
Also, carbon steel is a widely-produced, affordable material due to carbon’s relatively inexpensive cost in comparison to other alloys and elements, marking its advantage of being cost-effective because these steels are cheaper to make.
But it also poses certain disadvantages because carbon steel is easy to corrode and susceptible to rusting if exposed to moisture for quite a long time. Carbon increases brittleness that can be both efficacious and might as well a curse in building infrastructures.
Whereas if the context of familiarity enters, stainless steel will kill the game. One of its main alloying material is chromium that explains its unique luster so it is a principal choice for individuals who consider the brightness and flicker of their products having an utmost importance.
It also holds an ideal strength among steels but unlike carbon steels, it is corrosion-resistant. Stainless steel has also a low-maintenance feature that is perfect for finishing up an exterior facade or even interior make-up without the worry of overflowing cleaning and maintenance costs.
And because of its ability to withstand corrosion due to added chromium, the practice of maximizing stainless steels is also rampant in energy and medical-related industries since most of the substances and chemicals used in these environments are highly-corrosive.
In appearance, stainless steel is polished to be shinier to flaunt an attractive and aesthetic appeal that can be utilized in creating equipment or products with cosmetic and superficial significance.
But these steels are usually more expensive because of the supplementary alloys added to create stainless steels that signifies an increased production cost.
Since steel is being used in a variety of applications since time immemorial, the diversity of steels available in the market now provides space for the number of utilizations of steel across different industries. In response, every individual should take responsibility in knowing and determining the proper usage and limitations of each type to be able to secure the project’s success and effectiveness.
Concurrently, factors such as strength, subsistence, maintenance, cost and other metallic properties should be carefully considered to attain a successful approach in using a specific type of steel.