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Stainless Steel Properties
Stainless steels are iron alloys with a minimum of 10.5% chromium. A thin layer of oxide is produced (known as ‘passive layer’) on the surface by Chromium. Chromium helps in improving resistance to corrosion. Other metals which might be added to stainless steel include Nickel, Molybdenum, Titanium, and Copper. Non-metals which can be added include Carbon and Nitrogen. These alloying elements help to enhance the structure and properties such as formability, strength and cryogenic toughness.
Difference Between Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel:
Steel is an alloy made out of iron and carbon. The main difference between the two is in the components that are added to the steel to make it useful for its intended purposes. While in the case of Carbon Steel, Carbon is the main alloying element. In carbon steel, the properties are mainly defined by the amount of carbon it has. For this alloy, the amounts of other alloying elements like chromium, manganese, cobalt, tungsten are not defined. Whereas, Stainless steel has high chromium content that forms an invisible layer on the steel to prevent corrosion and staining. Carbon steel has a higher carbon content, which gives the steel a lower melting point, more malleability and durability, and better heat distribution. The other differences include: there is an in built chromium oxide layer in stainless steel, which is not present in carbon steel; Carbon steel can corrode whereas stainless steel is protected from corrosion; Stainless steel is preferred for many consumer products and can be used decoratively in construction, while carbon steel is often preferred in manufacturing, production and in projects where the steel is mostly hidden from view; Stainless Steel has lower thermal conductivity than Carbon steel.