Carbon Steel VS. Stainless Steel

Keywords: carbon steel vs stainless steel, carbon steel pipe vs stainless steel pipe, cs pipe vs ss pipe
As we all know, there are many types of steel on the market. For example, carbon steel and stainless steel are the most common ones, and their shapes are similar, which makes many people unable to distinguish them. So what is the difference between carbon steel and stainless steel? The following is introduced to you by the seamless pipe manufacturer.

Carbon steel and stainless steel have the same basic composition of iron and carbon. Their main difference is the alloy content - carbon steel has less than 10.5% alloy content, while stainless steel must contain 10.5% or more chromium. This essential difference is why carbon steel and stainless steel have unique physical properties.

 carbon steel vs stainless steel

The difference between carbon steel and stainless steel:

1. Different appearance
Stainless steel is composed of chromium, nickel and other metals, so the appearance of stainless steel is bright silver, smooth in appearance, and has very good gloss. The composition of carbon steel is an alloy of carbon and iron, so the color of carbon steel is gray and the surface is rougher than stainless steel.

2. Different corrosion resistance
Both carbon steel and stainless steel contain iron. Everyone knows that iron elements will slowly oxidize when exposed to the environment, leading to surface rust. However, stainless steel has added chromium. Chromium combines with oxygen better than iron, forming a chromium oxide layer, which can directly protect the steel from degradation and corrosion. The chromium content of carbon steel will also be lower, so the small amount of chromium cannot form a chromium oxide layer, so the corrosion resistance of stainless steel will be better than that of carbon steel.

3. Different wear resistance
Carbon steel is harder than stainless steel, but its weight will be greater and its plasticity
Also lower. Therefore, in terms of wear resistance, carbon steel is more wear-resistant than stainless steel.

4. Different prices
In the process of making stainless steel, a certain amount of other alloys must be added, but carbon steel is completely different from adding a large amount of other alloys, so the price of stainless steel is far more expensive than carbon steel.

5. Different ductility

Generally speaking, steels with higher carbon content are hard and brittle, while steels with lower carbon content are ductile and tough. The ductility of stainless steel will be better than that of carbon steel, mainly because the nickel content in stainless steel is relatively high, and the ductility of these elements is also better, so the ductility of stainless steel will also be better. Carbon steel contains high carbon content, low nickel content, which can be ignored, and poor ductility.

Carbon Steel Pipe  VS  Stainless Steel Pipe

Carbon steel pipes (cs pipe) vs Stainless steel pipes (ss pipe)what are the advantages?

In industry and construction, we often use carbon steel pipes and stainless steel pipes. Carbon steel pipes are metal pipes that use carbon as the main alloying element and add other elements to strengthen the material properties, while stainless steel pipes are metal pipes that improve corrosion resistance by adding chromium and other alloying elements. There are big differences in physical and chemical properties between the two, but there are also differences in usage occasions and needs.

Advantages of carbon steel pipes:

1. The price is more economical and affordable

Compared with stainless steel pipes, carbon steel pipes are more affordable. This is because the raw material cost of carbon steel pipes is low and the production process is simple, so the price is relatively low. Therefore, in situations with lower requirements such as low pressure and low temperature, the use of carbon steel pipes can achieve higher economic benefits.

stainless steel pipe

2. Higher intensity

Carbon steel pipes are stronger than stainless steel pipes. This is because the main alloying element of carbon steel pipes is carbon, and carbon elements can increase the hardness and strength of the pipe. In special occasions such as high temperature, high pressure, and large loads, carbon steel pipes can provide better pressure resistance and load-bearing capacity.

3. Better wear resistance

Carbon steel pipes have higher surface hardness than stainless steel pipes and have better wear resistance. When transmitting liquid or gas, the inner wall of the pipe will come into contact with substances, and long-term wear will cause fatigue deformation or damage of the pipe. Carbon steel pipes have better wear resistance and can maintain the original shape and function of the pipe after long-term use.

4. Easy to process and repair

Carbon steel pipes are easier to process and repair than stainless steel pipes. Carbon steel pipes have high processability and plasticity, and can be processed into required shapes and sizes through cold bending, hot bending, cutting, etc. At the same time, the maintenance of carbon steel pipes is also more convenient. When carbon steel pipes are cut or burned, they can be repaired by excision, repair welding, etc., while stainless steel pipes are difficult to repair.


In summary, although there are major differences in material properties between carbon steel pipes and stainless steel pipes, carbon steel pipes have some advantages that cannot be ignored in terms of use occasions and needs. The use of carbon steel pipes can achieve better economic benefits, pressure-bearing capacity, wear resistance and maintainability requirements.

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