Difference between Mild Steel and Stainless Steel

While there are a lot of similarities between mild steel and stainless steel, there are also some key differences between these two. Most people think the only differences between steel and mild steel is their names but this is certainly not the case. It is important to understand how mild steel is different from stainless steel when buying steel frames for houses or civil engineering projects. Choosing the wrong type of steel can result in a disaster and therefore it is recommended to pay attention to these two types of metal.

The percentage of carbon content in the steel determines its grade. The amount of carbon in the metal depends on various requirements and factors. Sometimes other metals like chromium, manganese and tungsten are also added to iron to achieve the required metal properties. The amount of additional elements including carbon usually determines the strength, reliability, hardness and tensile strength of the steel. Density of the steel also changes with the amount of alloying elements. Usually steel is treated at a very high temperature to mix various elements, thereby, improving the mechanical properties of the metal.


  • 1

    Mild Steel

    Mild steel and stainless steel are two of the most common types of steel. Depending on the percentage of carbon elements, the steel could be either mild or stainless. Mild steel is usually used for constructing buildings, railway tracks, bridges and mechanical machinery including ships, planes and vehicles. Stainless steel is typically used where corrosion of steel has to be reduced or completely eliminated.

    The amount of carbon usually defines the properties of this type of steel. Other alloying elements such as manganese and chromium are not required to be added. Mild steel contains a very low percentage of carbon. Mild carbon steel has three types including high carbon steel, ultra high carbon steel and medium carbon steel. Ultra high carbon steel is extremely reliable as it can undergo heat treatment and therefore it is mostly used for constructing bridges and railway tracks.

    - Image Courtesy: metchem.com.pk

  • 2

    Stainless Steel

    Stainless steel is the most expensive type of steel as it contains the minimum amount of carbon. Furthermore it is used only when high corrosion resistance is required. Due to the lower carbon content, stainless steel offers high tensile strength, reliability and durability. Sometimes, alloying elements such as chromium are also added to form chromium oxide inert gas to tackle the corrosion problem. Stainless steel is also used in monuments, automobiles, machinery, bridges and buildings.

    - Image Courtesy: yyytool.en.made-in-china.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

4 × two =