Advantages of stainless steel tanks versus carbon steel tanks
Stainless steel or carbon steel tanks, which is better? Before deciding between a stainless steel tank and a carbon steel tank, it is best to know the advantages and disadvantages of each material.
What is carbon steel?
Carbon steel is steel that contains carbon as the main alloy. The properties of this type of steel depend on the percentage of carbon content. Based on the amount of carbon, we can classify carbon steels in different categories. As the carbon percentage content rises, so does its resistance to traction and its cold brittleness index; however, it becomes less ductile.
Among the main characteristics of carbon steel, we can highlight its great strength and durability. This is the reason why carbon steel is often used in construction applications. The harder and tougher the material, the more suitable for construction purposes. However, carbon steel is not suitable for applications that require a material with a certain degree of flexibility. In other words, carbon steel has little ductility.
What is stainless steel?
Stainless steel is very different from any other kind of steel. What makes stainless steel unique is its great resistance to corrosion, or in other words, the ability to not corrode or rust under normal circumstances (stainless steel can rust under extreme circumstances).
According to the UNE-EN 10088-1 Standard: Stainless steels. Part 1: List of stainless steels, stainless steels are those that contain at least 10.5% chromium and a maximum of 1.2% carbon, although it is traditionally considered that stainless steel contains, at least 12% Cr.
Stainless steels are complex alloys including a great variety of chemical elements, some of them basic (such as C, Fe and Cr) and others added to get certain structures and properties (such as Ni, Mo, Ti, Nb, N).
The difference between stainless steel and carbon steel is in the amount of chromium in its composition. The presence of chromium (between 10.5% to 11%) allows the formation of an inert layer of chromium oxide on the surface of the steel, which is what gives rise to the corrosion resistance of stainless steel.
Due to the lack of chromium in the composition of carbon steel, it does not stand the test of time as well as stainless steel, nor can it withstand extreme temperature changes without damage. The increased corrosion resistance of stainless steel makes it more durable than carbon steel.
Therefore, if duration and resistance to corrosion are key criteria for the choice of the tank, the stainless steel tank is undoubtedly a better alternative than the carbon steel tank.
Due to the high investment involved in a processing plant, it is advisable to fully understand the pros and cons of each of the materials before installation. At Herpasa we always recommend the best alternative depending on the requirements of the project. Ask us!