The key difference between steel and stainless steel is that the steel is an alloy of iron and carbon whereas the stainless steel is an alloy of chromium and carbon.
Steel and Stainless steel are both alloys, meaning they form when metallic elements, two or more, combine with each other to enhance or further develop its properties such as but not limited to reactivity, density, thermal, and electrical conductivity, durability, and strength.
What is Steel?
Steel, as a metal alloy that is common around the globe, is a combination of iron and carbon. The history of steel tracks back as far as 1400 BC where ancient people made it in the eastern part of Africa.
Currently, due to the fast developing of technology, we add other metals like chromium, vanadium, tungsten, and manganese in the steel making. This helps to broaden the mechanical properties of steel to cater specific industry applications.
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is an alloy form the combination of chromium into iron. The chromium content is generally between 10.5% and 30%. Other alloying elements such as nickel, molybdenum, copper, titanium, aluminium, silicon, niobium, and nitrogen are used to enhance specific characteristics of stainless steel. It has a very popular property of anti-corrosiveness. This means that it doesn’t rust, stain, or corrode easily compared to other metals. The anti-corrosiveness occurs dues to the chromium content. This is because, when it reacts with air, a chromium-rich oxide film forms on the surface of the steel. Therefore, it protects the steel from corroding.
Stainless steel is useful in making almost all of home kitchens in the world like frying pans, rice cooker, wok, and other kitchen utensils that are important inside the kitchen.
What is the Difference Between Steel and Stainless Steel?
Steel and Stainless steel are not very apart in comparison with each other. People use these two metals, steel and stainless steels, in a broad sense and are the foundations of great skyscrapers and modern buildings. As the technology continues to develop further, manufacturers produce more and more variants of steel and stainless steels, dependent on its specific application. Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon while, stainless steel is an alloy of mainly carbon and chromium. Hence, this is the key difference between steel and stainless steel.
Steels are generally useful in railways, roads, subways, bridges, other huge buildings and modern skyscrapers, shipbuilding, cars, armoured vehicles, and bulldozers. On the other hand, Stainless steel, due to its low cost and high resistance to corrosion and rust is normally important in small to medium objects like surgical instruments, cutlery, home appliances, cookware, storage tanks and even some handguns are consist of stainless steel. Therefore, the usage contributes to another difference between steel and stainless steel.
A major difference between steel and stainless steel is that the steel corrode fast while the stainless steel is anti-corrosive.
Summary – Steel vs Stainless Steel
People use these two metals, steel and stainless steels, in a broad sense and are the foundations of great skyscrapers and modern buildings. As the technology continues to develop further, manufacturers produce more and more variants of steel and stainless steels, dependent on its specific application. However, stainless steel is a subcategory of steel. Both these are alloy compounds consist of iron and carbon with some other components as well. The difference between steel and stainless steel is that steel is a combination of iron and carbon whereas stainless steel is the combination of chromium and carbon.