Mild Steel, Stainless Steel, and Tool Steel: What is the Best Material for Your Application?

August 23, 2021

A huge number of parts and products that are being maximised by industries today are made from steel. Steel, after all, boasts qualities that make it great for various types of applications.

One quality of steel that makes it great for applications is that it has great appeal. Steel parts and products often have an appearance that is mesmerising to look at. Steel also has reputable strength, enabling it to be maximised by industries when it comes to light- to heavy-duty applications. Many parts and products can likewise be made from steel since it is modifiable. Various machining processes can be done to ensure that industries can obtain their needed machines, tools, and other things.

Steel can be divided into numerous types, allowing industries to choose the best one for their applications. Three popular types of steel are mild steel, stainless steel, and tool steel. If you are looking for the best steel type for your needs, then here are some things about them that you should know.

Chemical Composition

Mild steel, stainless steel, and tool steel all have the main steel component. However, they feature additional elements that somehow alter a number of their properties. Mild steel is typically integrated with around 0.05 to 0.30% carbon, while both stainless steel and tool steel have more than 15% carbon and more elemental additives. Stainless steel has an additional 20% of chromium and a high percentage of nickel. Tool steel, ultimately, may be added with vanadium, molybdenum, tungsten, and chromium.

Physical Properties

The elemental additives that are being mixed into mild steel, stainless steel, and tool steel allow them to boast varying physical properties. Mild steel typically has moderate toughness, making it easier to weld. This type of steel, however, cannot resist corrosion effectively. Stainless steel, on the other hand, has a more complicated composition that makes it more difficult to weld. The presence of chromium, fortunately, makes it resistant to corrosion. Tool steel, lastly, has commendable wear resistance, hardenability, and machinability, but it cannot withstand too many corrosive elements.

Hardenability Potential

The hardenability of a material is defined as its potential to be hardened by specific processes. It allows industries to ensure that a malleable material can be hardened. Mild steel, unfortunately, cannot be hardened since it only contains a small amount of carbon. Some types of stainless steel, alternatively, can be hardened. Almost all types of tool steels, ultimately, can be hardened through various mediums. Some tool steels might need to be quenched in oil or water, while others must be hardened in the air.

Notable Applications

Mild steel is typically used for structural materials, which can be found in the construction industry. Stainless steel, on the other hand, is often used by industries that require corrosion-resistant products. Tool steel is maximised in products that are needed for machining and tool making.

To know more about these types of steel, you can call us at Gunna Engineering. We are a small engineering business that has over 25 years of experience in the manufacturing of punches, dies, and blades for a variety of industries.

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