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Stainless Steel vs. Iron – What’s the Difference

Stainless Steel vs. Iron

When it comes to metal alloys, stainless steel and iron are two of the most commonly used materials. But what exactly is the difference between stainless steel and iron? How can you tell which one is right for your project? Let’s take a closer look at the comparison of stainless steel vs iron so that you can make an informed decision about which material is best for you.

Difference Between Stainless Steel and Iron

Composition and Properties

The main difference between stainless steel and iron lies in their chemical composition; stainless steel contains chromium, while iron does not. This chromium gives stainless steel its corrosion-resistant properties, as it forms a thin layer of rust on the surface that helps protect the underlying metal from corrosive elements such as oxygen and moisture. Iron, on the other hand, has no such protection and will rust easily when exposed to these elements.

The presence of chromium also makes stainless steel stronger than iron; it has a higher tensile strength which means it can withstand greater amounts of stress before breaking or becoming deformed. Furthermore, stainless steel has a higher melting point than iron—it can withstand temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit compared to only 1500 degrees Fahrenheit for iron.

Cost Comparison

When comparing prices between stainless steel and iron, there is one major factor to consider—stainless steel costs more than twice as much as iron per pound! While this may seem like a lot at first glance, keep in mind that because of its superior strength and corrosion resistance, you will need less material overall when using stainless steel instead of iron for your project; this cost difference can be made up over time by avoiding costly repairs or replacements due to rust damage from using inferior materials such as plain old iron.


Choosing between stainless steel and iron boils down to what type of project you are working on and how much money you have available for materials. If you need something strong and corrosion-resistant but don’t want to break the bank, then plain old wrought iron might be just what you are looking for; however, if your project requires something strong yet durable enough to stand up against harsh environmental conditions, then investing in a bit more expensive stainless steel might be worth it in order to ensure quality results that last over time. Regardless of which option you choose, both materials offer advantages depending on your specific needs!

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