The use of steel dates back to ancient times. In fact, what historians and archeologists call steel was primarily carbon steel. Carbon steel is a metal alloy consisting of carbon and iron. It has many advantages over other metals, and was used in areas as diverse as China, Africa, India and Rome.
It was not, of course, used to make buildings as it is today. The ancients mainly used steel to make swords and other weapons. The modern age of making steel began in the 19th century, when methods to make it cheaply in large quantities were developed.
Stainless Steel vs. Carbon Steel
Stainless steel is the type of steel alloy that most people are familiar with. It’s made by combining iron and chromium. The chromium is what gives stainless steel its distinctive sheen, which is why it’s often used to make silverware, dinnerware and other items where a clean and shiny appearance are important.
It is also, as its very name suggests, easy to clean. Carbon steel, however, is harder and stronger than stainless steel. For this reason, it’s the better choice for many industrial products and for any situations where durability is a key factor.
There are other alloy steels as well, made with elements such as nickel, copper, titanium and aluminum. The properties of these steels varies depending on the proportion of elements used to make it. Carbon steel, however, is known for its practicality, strength and economy. There are several types of carbon steel, such as low, medium, high and ultra-high carbon steel. These refer to the carbon content of the steels. The type of carbon steel that is best varies depending on the use.
Benefits of Carbon Steel
Some of the most notable benefits of carbon steel include:
- Durable – Carbon steel is extremely strong and shock resistant. This makes it a popular choice for construction, piping and to support modern roads. This type of steel is also not prone to rotting as many other metals are.
- Safe -Compared to many other materials, steel is safe to handle and work with. It’s also a good material for building homes that are resistant to fires, hurricanes, tornadoes and earthquakes.
- Green -Carbon steel is easy to recycle compared to many other materials, making it environmentally friendly.
- Economical -For many uses, such as piping, carbon steel can be made very thin compared to other metals. This makes it very cost effective. Carbon steel pipes, for example, are cheaper to make than copper pipes.
- Healthy and Long Lasting For Cookware -Pots and pans made with carbon steel are healthy to cook with. Aluminum cookware can react with foods and potentially cause health problems. Carbon steel cookware also lasts longer than aluminum and is less prone to dents and scratches. Finally, carbon steel heats up very fast.
These are some of the main reasons why carbon steel is the best choice for so many applications. Due to its strength, economy and safety, this metal is often the most practical choice.