Carbon steel and stainless steel: What’s the difference?

Being a top supplier of ERW steel tubes West Midlands businesses trust in, its vital we know all there is to know about steels. This way we give reliable advice for our clients and produce high quality products for them. Keeping this in mind, stainless and carbon steel is used for a variety of consumer and commercial reasons. The difference between the two changes depending on its intended use.

Steel changes with different alloys

Firstly, to make steels iron and carbon must be mixed. The percentages present vary depending on the grade. Other alloys may also be added including chromium, tungsten and manganese. Adding any of these changes the characteristics of the material. Generally, adding another element will change the steel’s hardness, tensile strength and ductility.

To make stainless ERW steel tubes, the material must have high chromium content. Its stainless features are only possible with this alloy as it prevents staining and corrosion. Carbon steel on the other hand general does not have may other elements added in. This composition gives it a low melting point, improved heat distribution, durability and malleability.

The difference between carbon and stainless steels

With stainless types, the grades vary but generally they have a better appearance. The finish can often be as reflective as a mirror. On the contrary, carbon types are dull and comparable to an iron pot. This is why the two are so easy to distinguish. Additionally, the chromium oxide layer isn’t present in carbon steel; therefore it corrodes easier.

If you are still unsure of which type is suitable for your needs, contact Union Steel. We manufacture our products on site, and help our clients decide what material is best for their tubing.

If they need ERW steel tubes West Midlands businesses should contact us today. We can offer the perfect combination of quality and value for money.