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Steel is used everywhere, used as a major component in buildings, infrastructure, transport, machines, appliances and more. According to the World Steel Association, there are over 3,500 different grades of steel, each with their own unique physical, chemical and environmental properties.

With so many to choose from and a wide range of applications, it’s wise that you know their differences and usages, namely those between mild steel and stainless steel.  While there are many forms of steel Laser 24 work with such as CR4, galvanised, S275 and S355, mild steel and non mild stainless steel are our top two produced metals.

Here, we talk all things steel, to give you an overview of these mighty metals and their benefits. But don’t forget, our team are here to advise you on choosing the best way to produce high quality laser cut metal parts for your projects big and small!

What is the main difference between mild steel and stainless steel?

The main difference between any steel, including mild steel and stainless steel, are brought by their alloying materials, i.e. the combination of elements that combine to make up the metal matter. These will give a difference to the metal properties including strength, weight, and corrosion resistance.

Mild steel contains carbon as the main alloy, whereas stainless steel contains a healthy dose of chromium. While these are both strong metals in their own right, stainless steel is about 200 times more resistant to corrosion than mild steel, thanks to the chromium. Both materials serve their own great benefits and, combined, can make all the small and big parts of any project.

What can mild steel be used for?

Mild steel is the most common material that we produce at Laser 24, providing an extremely versatile, cost-effective and a simple way to manufacture metal. Great for those high volume projects where many parts are needed rapidly!

Because mild steel is a more malleable material than other forms of steel, it makes it far more easy to fabricate than heavier metals. Mild steel is therefore perfect for construction and engineering projects such as chimneys, stair treads, base plates, metal sheet partitions, shop fascia designs and sculptures.

Some people may ask, why choose a weaker metal over a much stronger metal? It can be simply inefficient and impractical to have a thicker and heavier metal, particularly for those smaller objects or items that need to be carried around. So, mild steel is a respectively strong metal that can provides a lighter weight solution for a wide range of purposes. Sometimes less really is more!

Mild steel is also greatly resistant to heat, making it a perfect metal for those heat-inducive equipment and environments such as those in the engineering, automotive and aerospace industries.

At Laser 24, we cut mild steel up to 25mm, a thickness which can be achieved with our world-class 10kw Bystronic Laser.

What can stainless steel be used for?

Stainless steel is our second most popular material, most commonly used in construction and engineering jobs for its supreme strength, flexibility and high resistance to corrosion!

Ideal for construction and architectural projects, for outdoor use, such as rails, gates and signage, stainless steel is an extremely resilient metal that can withstand much more time and abuse before showing signs of damage. It is also a great protective solution, providing an extra layer of protection to brickwork, such as exterior rain cladding on high impact buildings.

Another benefit of stainless steel is, as the name tells, is that it’s stain-free! As a metal that is easy to sterilise, it is perfect for those sectors that need to keep a sanitary environment, such as medical, catering and education. Whether it’s a working table, a trolley, or kitchen splashbacks, it can make any workspace shine to a high standard.

Thanks to our advanced equipment, Laser 24 can cut stainless steel up to a thickness of 30mm.

What other steel materials can I use?

There are other forms of low carbon steels that Laser 24 work with for various projects. The difference depends on the environment these will be used. Our expert laser cutting team will work alongside project managers, material buyers and other professionals to ensure it is the right material for the task at hand.  Our material suppliers can source any type of material and if it is not held in stock in our factory, will deliver it the next day.

With any metal we cut at Laser 24, our zero-handling process means that you get the cleanest cut possible, without any manual handling damage. Our completely controlled automated process also means we are able to control the conditions that it is cut to produce the best quality parts for your projects. Combined with our press braking services, we can easily bend mild and non mild steel to all manners of shapes and sizes.

Do you need guidance with your next metal cut material? We’d be happy to help. Let us know your project requirements by calling us on 01268 733883, emailing sales@laser24.co.uk or request your 24 Quick Quote today.

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