Q:

What is the difference between chrome and stainless steel?

A:

Quick Answer

The difference between chrome and stainless steel is that stainless steel is typically made out of a metal alloy without plating (it does contain either nickel or chromium to make it durable), while chrome is made out of a metal core that is plated with a thin chromium overlay. Chrome and stainless steel are both popular choices in hardware and kitchen appliances.

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Full Answer

Chrome has a polished surface that is shiny and reflects light much like a mirror. However, satin chrome or brushed chrome has a more matte surface. Chrome can be difficult to clean because of its shine and will easily show fingerprints or scratches.

Stainless steel is corrosion resistant, scratch resistant and tarnish resistant. It is considered ultra durable. In all stainless steel there is a chrome-nickel content, which refers to the amount of chrome and nickel present in the stainless steel. This content varies depending on the type of stainless steel.

There are three different classes of stainless steel that can be purchased: austenitic, martensitic and ferritic. Austenitic is a chromium-nickel-iron alloy with 16 to 26 percent chromium, 6 to 22 percent nickel and a low carbon contact. Martensitic is a chromium-iron alloy with 10.5 to 17 percent chromium with some carbon content that is hardened. Ferritic is a chromium-iron alloy with 17 to 27 percent chromium and a low carbon content. Ferritic also has magnetic properties, which can make it useful in the kitchen. Most cooking utensils are made out of this ferritic type of stainless steel.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    Which metals make up stainless steel?

    A:

    Stainless steel is a special form of steel that is made of chromium added to steel. Regular steel is an alloy that is made of both iron and carbon. There are different types of stainless steel depending on how much chromium is added and if there are any other elements added in small amounts like nickel.

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  • Q:

    What is the difference between iron and steel?

    A:

    The difference between iron and steel is that iron is an element, and steel is an alloy of iron, small amounts of carbon and another material, usually another element like chromium. Iron is alloyed with other elements to make it stronger and more useful and to keep it from rusting.

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    What is the composition of stainless steel?

    A:

    Stainless steel is available in many different alloys that incorporate several different elements, but the essential components are iron, carbon and chromium. Low-carbon steel with at least 12-percent chromium forms an even layer of protective oxide on its surface and is, therefore, stainless.

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  • Q:

    What is stainless steel made of?

    A:

    The alloy known as stainless steel is comprised primarily of iron combined with a minimum of 10.5 percent chromium. Other metals, such as nickel, molybdenum, titanium or copper, are added to the alloy in small amounts to enhance the strength and toughness of it.

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