Mild Steel ( MS ) vs Stainless Steel

Why choose mild steel ( MS ) over stainless steel for flange making ?
E . S Haji & Co, the leading Flange Manufacturer in Chennai makes an attempt in bringing out the comparison between the two metals – stainless steel and mild steel in flange manufacturing industries . But before we get to the important bits, why is it important for people to know the difference between the two to be used for flange making? Well, the answer is simple. If you were to use one of the other, it is essential that you make sure that you have the proper knowledge as to which is more likely suitable. Otherwise, it could completely compromise the project you have in hand. So now that we have that out of the way, shall we take a closer look at these two types of metal.

Carbon steel is sometimes referred to as ‘mild steel’ or ‘plain carbon steel’. The American Iron and Steel Institute defines a carbon steel as having no more than 2 % carbon and no other appreciable alloying element. Carbon steel makes up the largest part of steel production and is used in a vast range of applications. Welding carbon steels with a carbon content greater than 0.3 % requires that special precautions be taken. However, welding carbon steel presents far fewer problems than welding stainless steels in the flange making process.

Stainless steel is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 11.5 wt% chromium content. Stainless steel does not stain, corrode or rust as easily as ordinary steel (it “stains less”), but it is not stain-proof. It is also called corrosion resistant steel when the alloy type and grade are not detailed, particularly in the aviation industry. There are different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel to suit the environment to which the material will be subjected in its lifetime.

Costing :
Cost is a very important factor that is to be considered in the Manufacturing Industries. Miled steel is a cheap form of iron-carbon alloy, and hence is cheap and suitable to be used in the flange Manufacturing Industries.

Stainless steel is only more expensive to make , more expensive to machine and when it is welded it moves/changes its shape and needs very skilled and experienced welders. Also, stainless steel contains additional compounds that reduces hydro-corrosion and increases the hardness of the steel. This makes is more expensive, less malleable and is more likely to suffer from stress fatigue and stress fractures, which calls for a lot of fixing, hence increasing the cost factor and making it less suitable to be used for the making of flanges.

Usability :
Mild steel is the most common high volume steel in production. It is often used when large amounts of steel is needed, for example as structural steel .Mild steel is the most common form of steel as its price is relatively low while it provides material properties that are acceptable for many applications especially in the flange making industries.

On the other hand Stainless Steel is a hard , beautiful metal which is ideal for furniture and art decor but finds lesser applications in Manufacturing Industries and especially that of flanges due to the cost factor, brittleness , non – malleability ,etc.

Malleability :
Mild steel is any day more malleable than stainless steel , hence paving its way in to the manufacturing industries and its excessive use in flange making. It is subject to corrosion but is malleable and does not suffer from the brittleness issues of stainless steel thereby making stainless steel less effective to be used in flange making.

Corrosive properties :
When it comes to resistance to corrosion, mild steel is a lot more vulnerable when compared to steel. Basically, steel contains a sufficient amount of chromium that helps it form a kind of passive film made out of chromium oxide that helps prevent further corrosion. Do keep in mind that there are modern treatments that can be applied to mild steel which can help delay or completely prevent corrosion in it as well.

Hardness and Strength:
Mild steel is less harder than that of stainless steel as stainless steel reduces hydro-corrosion and increases the hardness of the steel. But this makes it less ductile. Mild steel has a reasonable strength and hardness it is easier to weld than stainless, and it is cheaper. Eventhough mild steel has a relatively lower tensile strength , it is malleable and ductile , highly suitable for the manufacturing of flanges. However mild steel can be hardened by increasing the carbon content and surface hardness can be increased through carburizing.

Mild steel weighs less than that of stainless steel. Stainless steel weighs more due to its hardening properties and has a lesser occupancy to be used for flange making as it makes it difficult to be handled during the manufacturing process.

Therefore, these qualities are realised and constantly being improved at E.S Haji & Co.