Stainless vs. Carbon Steel: The Difference of Fabrication

Metal fabrication is often used in industrial applications such as machinery, appliances, and various parts. There are many different levels of metal fabrication, but the main uses and functions are the same. The levels are determined by the degree of specialisation. The more specialised the work, the higher the price and the higher the level.

If your project is mostly steel, you may be able to do some of the work yourself. Cutting, welding, and forming steel is much easier than cutting, welding, and forming aluminium. In particular, two kinds of steel are often used in metal fabrication: stainless and carbon. While both seem alike, they are more different from each other.

In this article, we’ll detail the differences between the two. Read on below to get started.

Physical Properties

Stainless steel is an alloy made up of iron, chromium, and nickel. Stainless steel is commonly used in high-end kitchen appliances and the manufacturing of surgical tools and instruments. The alloy is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity.

This specific alloy is particularly appealing because it’s resistant to rust, corrosion, and other elements that may damage the material. In the kitchen, it’s the preferred material of choice because it can be sanitised. The alloy is also stronger than carbon steel, which means it can be used in a wide range of applications and is less likely to break.

Carbon steel is a popular alloy used in many metal fabrication projects. It’s stronger than stainless steel and easier to work with. It’s commonly used in various construction projects, such as cabinets and manufacturing steel girders.


The price of stainless steel is often higher than carbon steel. Carbon steel is easier to work with, making it less expensive to purchase. Because of these factors, carbon steel is often used in industrial applications and by those who are just starting.

Stainless steel is more commonly used by those who are more advanced in their project because of the type of job that needs to be done. It is often used for high-end applications, such as medical and food services.

Corrosion Resistance

Stainless steel is more resistant to corrosion than carbon steel. This means it’s less likely to rust or corrode than carbon steel. The alloy is often made to withstand a wide range of environments, including high humidity and saltwater exposure. Because of this, it is often used in marine applications. This includes boat building and shipbuilding. Stainless steel is also commonly used in aquariums and fish farms because it’s more resistant to corrosion than carbon steel.

Carbon steel is not as resistant to corrosion as stainless steel. It’boatbuildings often used in industrial environments or other applications requiring corrosion resistance. However, stainless steel is typically preferred when corrosion is a significant concern because of its superior resistance.

Fabrication Costs

The cost of fabrication is higher with stainless steel than with carbon steel. This is primarily because of the cost of the steel. The price of stainless steel is higher than the price of carbon steel. This makes it more expensive to use.

Stainless steel is often used in higher-end applications, so there tends to be a greater investment and a higher price. However, the cost can be higher in some cases because lower grades of stainless steel are used.

Maintenance Costs

The cost of maintenance is higher with carbon steel than with stainless steel. This is mainly because carbon steel is more susceptible to rust. If the material is not adequately maintained, the material may rust and corrode, leading to costly repairs.

Stainless steel does not rust as easily as carbon steel, so it doesn’t require as much maintenance and repairs.

Which Is Better?

When it comes to metal fabrication, the choice of material is often determined by the cost and the kind of job needed. If your project is more complex and requires more specialised work, you may need stainless steel. However, if you are on a budget and your project is not as complex, carbon steel may be the right choice for you.


The choice of material is essential when it comes to metal fabrication. How you decide to go about your project will determine the outcome. It’s critical to choose a material that suits your needs, price range, and personal preferences.

CSM Fabrication Welding provides top-quality services for steel fabrication in Perth. Our experienced fabrication specialists will ensure that your materials will be safe to use so you won’t have any problems with your projects. Contact us today to learn more!

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