What Are the Uses of High Carbon Stainless Steel?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 13 January 2020
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Exceptionally hard and durable metals have been developed to suit a variety of needs; one such metal is high carbon stainless steel, which is a type of steel that contains high concentrations of carbon to create a very hard substance. Stainless steel is a metal that contains a high amount of iron mixed with chromium, and it is exceptionally resistant to staining and corrosion. High carbon stainless steel is therefore a very durable, hard metal that is resistant to staining and corrosion. Kitchen knives are often made from this type of steel because the metal can be sharpened relatively easily and will hold a sharp edge.

Various cutting tools are, in fact, perhaps the most common uses for high carbon stainless steel. While high carbon steel alone will need a fair amount of maintenance such as oiling to prevent staining and corrosion, combining the high carbon content with stainless steel will create a product that combines the hardness of the carbon steel with the stain resistance of stainless steel. High carbon stainless steel is therefore ideal for knives that are used in the kitchen, since kitchen knives must be strong and sharp; they are also very likely to come in contact with moisture, which can lead to corrosion in other materials.


Bearings and other machinery components may also be made from high carbon stainless steel. Steel tends to be a fairly resilient and strong metal that will resist wear for many years, making steel ball bearings ideal choices for various types of machinery. The high carbon content will further harden and strengthen the components, while the stainless properties will help prevent premature breakdown due to corrosion or even high heat. Hand tools may also be made from this type of steel, though such tools may end up becoming price prohibitive because of the metal content.

Brake rotors on various vehicles may also be made from high carbon stainless steel. These rotors are part of the braking system, and they are mounted to wheels or axles. These components are often subjected to significant braking forces as well as high heat and friction, so high carbon stainless steel is an appropriate material choice for ensuring the rotors do not break down prematurely or fail suddenly under braking forces. On motorcycles, the rotors are likely to be exposed to moisture and road debris regularly, so this type of steel is an exceptional choice for ensuring the rotor stays clean and usable.


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