Duplex Stainless Steel vs Carbon Steel – What’s the Difference

Duplex Stainless Steel vs Carbon Steel

Choosing the right material for your project is crucial to its success. Duplex stainless steel and carbon steel are two popular options among the many types of steel available. Both have advantages and disadvantages and are used in various applications. In this blog post, we will discuss the differences between duplex stainless steel and carbon steel, their properties, and the industries they are best suited for.

Difference Between Duplex Stainless Steel and Carbon Steel

Composition and Properties

Duplex stainless steel is made up of a combination of austenitic and ferritic stainless steel, which gives it high strength and corrosion resistance, making it suitable for harsh environments. On the other hand, carbon steel is mainly composed of iron and carbon and has a low melting point. It is cheaper than stainless steel but less corrosion-resistant and weaker in terms of tensile strength.

Corrosion Resistance

Duplex stainless steel contains a high chromium content, which gives it superior corrosion resistance compared to carbon steel. Carbon steel, on the other hand, is susceptible to rust and corrosion in humid and damp environments.

Mechanical Properties

Duplex stainless steel has excellent mechanical properties, including high tensile strength, toughness, and ductility, while carbon steel has lower values. Duplex stainless steel is preferred for applications that require high strength and resistance to fatigue, such as in the construction of bridges, pipelines, and offshore drilling rigs.


Duplex stainless steel has a low thermal expansion coefficient, making it easier to weld than carbon steel, which is prone to warping and distortion during welding. However, welding duplex stainless steel requires special techniques and equipment, which can increase the cost of fabrication.


Duplex stainless steel is used in various applications, including chemical and petrochemical plants, water treatment facilities, pulp and paper mills, and the oil and gas industry. Carbon steel, on the other hand, is commonly used in manufacturing cars, ships, bridges, and construction materials.


In summary, the choice between duplex stainless steel and carbon steel largely depends on the application and the desired properties. Duplex stainless steel has superior corrosion resistance and mechanical properties, making it ideal for harsh environments, while carbon steel is cheaper and more malleable, suitable for applications where corrosion resistance is not a priority. However, both materials have specific utilities in different industries, and understanding their differences can help you choose the right material for your project.



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