Steel is a general term for iron alloys with a carbon content between 0.02% and 2.04% by mass. The chemical composition of steel can vary greatly, and steel containing only carbon is called carbon steel (carbon steel) or ordinary steel;
In actual production, steel often contains different alloying elements according to different uses, such as: manganese, nickel, vanadium and so on.
Iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content of less than 2% are divided into carbon steel and alloy steel according to different components. According to different properties and uses, it can be divided into structural steel, tool steel and special performance steel.
Carbon steel mainly refers to steel whose mass fraction of carbon is less than 2.11% and does not contain intentionally added alloying elements. Sometimes also called plain carbon steel or carbon steel. Carbon steel does not contain effective alloying elements, and is an alloy with iron, carbon, and manganese as the main elements. Mechanical properties are generally inferior to alloy steels.
Carbon steel is often referred to as carbon structural steel. According to the carbon content, it can be divided into low carbon steel, medium carbon steel and high carbon steel, and the carbon content is 0.2-0.7% or even higher. Carbon steel is generally not resistant to corrosion and is used in a variety of structures due to its low cost (relative to stainless steel).
Stainless steel refers to alloy steel that is resistant to weak corrosive media such as air, steam, and water, and chemically corrosive media such as acid, alkali, and salt. The corrosion resistance of stainless steel depends on the alloying elements contained in the steel. The basic alloying elements of stainless steel include nickel, molybdenum, titanium, niobium, copper, nitrogen, etc.
Stainless steel belongs to the category of alloy steel, a high alloy steel that contains a large amount of chromium, and some contain a large amount of nickel and a certain amount of titanium. The role of chromium is to make the steel resistant to corrosion, and the role of nickel is to reduce the austenitization temperature of the stainless steel. The total content of alloying elements reaches 10~28%, so it is a high alloy steel.
Common stainless steels are mostly austenitic stainless steels, such as 0Cr18Ni9. The carbon content is low, but the alloying element content is above 20%, of which chromium is 18-20%, Ni content is 8-10%, as well as vanadium, molybdenum, titanium and other elements.
The addition of the above alloying elements greatly improves the oxidation resistance and thermal stability, but these alloys are all precious metals. So the price is also very expensive.
Stainless steel is used in highly corrosive media, especially in food, pharmaceutical, daily chemical cosmetics and other industries that require high environmental conditions. Of course, the chemical industry is also widely used. However, austenitic stainless steel is afraid of chloride ions, and the chloride ion control of water in the use environment is very strict.
Carbon steel has a low cost, is easy to rust, and has a short service time, while stainless steel is not easy to rust, has a long use time and has a smooth surface.