Mild Steel vs. Stainless Steel: Choosing the Best Material for Fabrication Processes

Blog | April 29th, 2021

The metal fabrication process is pivotal to various industries as it can effectively produce parts and products out of raw metal materials through different methods and operations. Some known methods and operations that this specific process can carry out include cutting, shaping, and moulding.

When conducting the metal fabrication process, industries can typically choose the type of metal materials that they can maximise. After all, the metal fabrication process can work on different metal materials long as all the necessary tools and equipment are present. Two of the materials that can be used for metal fabrication operations are mild steel and stainless steel.

If you are choosing between these two metal materials, then here are some of their primary characteristics and properties that you should know about.

Mild Steel

Mild steel, which is also known as carbon steel, is a type of steel that is typically comprised of 2% carbon and no other alloying element. Globally, mild steel has been very prominent in steel production given that it is being utilised by a lot of industries.

With the general composition of mild steel, it can be easily fabricated into different parts and products. And once these products are fabricated from this material, they are expected to come out stiff and strong. Mild steel parts and products are also magnetic, making them suitable for electronic applications. There are, however, some drawbacks with mild steel. The overall corrosion resistance of mild steel is known to be poor unless products out of this material are coated with some protective element. Fabricating with mild steel likewise entails more processes as its parts and products can easily sustain rust.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel, on the other hand, contains a minimum of 11.5% chromium, allowing it to resist corrosion effectively. To date, stainless steel boasts different grades and surface finishes, allowing the material to be used in a wide array of applications and tolerate almost all elements.

The presence of chromium in the stainless steel allows the material to withstand corrosion, staining, and other similar processes thanks to its integrated passive film of chromium oxide. Through this passive film, parts and products out of stainless steel do not have to undergo numerous processes unlike the ones made from mild steel. Stainless steel parts and products can likewise resist impact. Hence, most parts and products that are made from stainless steel can be created quickly and be used in any types of environment for a very long time. Stainless steel, however, can be difficult to fabricate.

Both types of steels can be very useful given their accompanying advantages and features. But if you want to know more about them, you can reach us at McKean’s Sheetmetal Fabricators. We are a Melbourne-based sheet metal fabrication and steel supply Australian company that is committed to superior customer satisfaction by providing the product you want at an agreeable price. Our fabrication services include general fabrication, welding, guillotining, and many more.


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