Difference Between Steel and Mild Steel

Steel and mild steels can often be confused for one another. Both the metals are used for various purposes, largely for construction.


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Steel vs Mild Steel

The difference between steel and mild steel is that steel is harder than mild steel as it has a higher carbon content. Even though mild steel is comprised of carbon as well, it comprises a variety of mixtures of alloys that steel doesn’t. This mixture of metals is made to have very specific characteristics.

Steel vs Mild Steel

Steel is a hard metal known for its strength and rigidness. It has a high carbon content which makes it brittle and durable. By virtue of this, steel is used to make various tools and cutting instruments.

Mild steel is a sub-variety of steel alloy. Carbon is one of its major components. Other elements may even include non metals. Due to this, mild steel is not as brittle, strong and durable as steel.

Comparison Table

Parameters of comparisonSteelMild Steel
Carbon contentSteel has a higher carbon content than mild steel.Mild steel has a lower carbon content.
StrengthSteel is a very strong metal.Mild steel is not very strong.
CompositionSteel is a metal made up of carbon.Mild steel is an alloy which means that it is made up of a mixture of various metals and non metals.
DurabilitySteel is very durable.Mild steel is not as durable as steel.
MalleableSteel is very hard to bend and thus not very malleable.Mild steel is malleable.
CostSteel is more expensive than mild steel.Mild steel is a little expensive as it is made up of various metals.
CorrosionIt is very easy for steel to rust.Mild steel is galvanised to protect its surface.
UsesSteel is used to make hard tools and cutting instruments.Mild steel is used for making pipes, nuts, bolts, chains, magnets and much more.

What is Steel?

Steel is an alloy that is formed from iron. It is often used for manufacturing tools for construction. It has a very high carbon content, making it strong, durable, hard and less malleable.

One of the most widely used types of steel is alloy steel. Such a property makes it perfect for being used to build automobiles such as cars, trains, buses, and even aircraft parts.

When iron is in its pure form, it is not very hard. Therefore, it is not very manageable to use as a constructing material. This pure form of metal is made into steel alloy by adding carbon to it.

The history of steel can be tracked down to when three French scientists distinguished and identified the nature of the metal. Steel was officially defined in 1786, however, it was not until the 19th century that production started on a larger scale.


What is Mild Steel?

Mild steel is a type of steel that is made up of the element ‘carbon’. However, this element is present in very small quantities. Moreover, there are a lot of other metals and non-metals that are used to make mild steel.

Since the carbon content of this alloy is very low, it is very malleable. This makes it easy to use for building pipes, hinges, nuts, screws and bolts.

Mild steel also contains low amounts of chromium, molybdenum and other alloying elements. Since the carbon content is low, the metal is malleable, ductile, easy for machines and affordable as compared to others.

A common method to produce mild steel is from iron and coal. First, these elements are extracted from the ground and then melted together.

mild steel

Main Differences Between Steel and Mild Steel

  1. Steel is costlier than mild steel.
  2. Steel is not very malleable whereas mild steel is easy to bend and move.
  3. It is easy for steel to rust.
Difference Between Steel and Mild Steel


  1. https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/0370-1301/64/9/303/meta
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/037971128890029X
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