Steel and stainless steel are both metal alloys, meaning they are each made of two or more metals. All types of steel are made from iron mixed with carbon. The more carbon in the steel, the stronger it becomes. This also means, though, that the more carbon in the steel, the harder it becomes to cut and work with. The good news is that both steel and stainless steel are recyclable!
What Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is made up of iron, carbon, and at least 10.5% chromium. This small percentage of chromium creates a film on the surface of the metal, preventing oxygen from causing rust. This means that stainless steel has better anti-corrosion qualities than regular steel. There are many different forms of stainless steel, the most common being Type 304 which is a food grade metal. Type 304 is used in tanks for drinking water and industrial food production, and is made from 18% chromium making it even more resistant to corrosion. Stainless steel is also more expensive than regular steel, so typically it is only used for specific purposes when the anti-corrosion tendencies are needed.
Uses for Steel
Regular (non-stainless) steel is plentiful and economical, making it the perfect material for larger projects. Steel is often used in construction projects like roads, railways, and other infrastructure. Steel is also often used as the material for constructing skeletons of modern buildings, skyscrapers, and large stadiums. Screws, nails, bolts, nuts and other hardware are also typically made of steel.
Uses for Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is usually used for both its practical attributes and its good looks. As far as it’s practical uses, stainless steel is a great material for bridges, sculptures, and even medical instruments because of its corrosion resistant properties. Stainless steel is also widely used in the restaurant and food production industry because it’s easy to clean and sterilize. Stainless steel also doesn’t affect the taste of food when it is cooked or stored in it.
The lesson to be learned here is that steel and stainless steel are good for different projects, meaning that one of these metals is not “better” than the other. If you have more questions about the differences between steel and stainless steel, or are wondering what materials are worth when recycling them, please contact us. Feel free to give us a call at (617) 387-1188 or fill out our contact form here. For information about pricing, click here!