Today we’re tackling another frequently asked question regarding our mild steel. There are a number of key differences between types of steel which make them suitable for different applications depending on differences to properties including strength, weight and corrosion resistance. But what is the difference between mild steel and stainless steel? They are both widely used forms of steel, but what makes them better suited than the other for their respective uses?

The differences in steels are brought about by their alloying materials. Mild steel contains carbon as the alloy, whereas stainless steel includes chromium. The changes brought about by chromium to the internal structure of the steel result in properties which gives stainless steel its name: very high corrosion resistance and a surface which does not stain or tarnish.

The development of this new kind of steel occurred through the 19th century before being industrialised in the early 20th century in Sheffield. The announcement of this development was announced in an article in The New York Times in January 1915:


Sheffield Invention Especially Good for Table Cutlery.

According to Consul John M. Savage, who is stationed at Sheffield, England, a firm in that city has introduced a stainless steel, which is claimed to be non-rusting, unstainable, and untarnishable. This steel is said to be especially adaptable for table cutlery, as the original polish is maintained after use, even when brought in contact with the most acid foods, and it requires only ordinary washing to cleanse…

An additional property which is afforded to steel which has a chromium alloy is hardness, and stainless steel proves very resilient to impact – a stark difference to mild steel which is far more malleable and easy to fabricate thanks to its carbon content.

Where mild steel requires galvanising to prevent corrosion, stainless steel merely needs to be polished. After that, all it requires is a basic standard of cleaning to maintain the surface. This is why stainless steel can be found in many aesthetic applications including the cladding on the pinnacle of New York’s Chrysler Building to Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate sculpture (pictured above), which can be found in Millenium Park, Chicago.

Both of these structures are supported by a steel frame, and are a testament to the strength and aesthetics of different varieties of steel.

Post By Marc