Steel vs. Stainless Steel

Difference between Steel and Stainless Steel

Both steel and stainless steel are metallic elements. They both are alloys and coupled together for better performance on their parts. Combined, their reactivity, density, thermal power, conductivity, durability and strength go manifold.

Steel is formed of iron and carbon whereas the blend of chromium and iron create stainless steel. Dated back 1400 BC, the formation of steel can be traced in some eastern parts of Africa.  To increase the durability, flexibility or other mechanical properties of steel, and make it available for wide spectrum of industry usages, metals like chromium, vanadium, tungsten, and manganese are used to make it.

Stainless steel, on other hand has the ratio of chromium up to 10.5% to 30%. Elements like Nickel, Molybdenum, Copper, Titanium, Aluminum, Silicon, Niobium, and Nitrogen can be further added for extra specifications. Its anti-corrosive properties make it popular and widely used for domestic and industrial applications. The most common and universal example of stainless steel is kitchen where one can see rice cooker, wok and other day to day use utensils made of stainless steel. It is mainly because of the hygienic, anti-stain and fabrication properties that stainless steel is mainly used for domestic use.

When it comes to real differences, steel and stainless steel are first cousins. The differences between the two can be stated as follow:

  1. Steel is made of Iron and Carbon whereas stainless steel is a combination of Carbon and Chromium.
  2. Stainless steel is anti corrosive which means it does not get stains or rust easily whereas steel does. Though, both the alloys are known for longevity but steel corrodes faster.
  3. Steel is used to create various industry infrastructures such as in roads, railways, roads, subways, bridges, buildings and skyscrapers, shipbuilding, cars, toughened vehicles, and bulldozers. Whereas the use of stainless steel, given its low cost and high anti-corrosion capability, is limited to build surgical instruments, cutlery, cookware,  home appliances, and storage tanks. Some handguns even use stainless steel as manufacturing material