Galvanized Pipe vs. Stainless Steel

Let’s say you want to bring some steel pipe to a pipe bending company for a project, but you’re having difficulty choosing between galvanized steel pipes and stainless steel pipes. Galvanized steel pipes and stainless steel pipes look fairly similar, so it’s no surprise that sometimes galvanized steel is mistaken for stainless steel. However, each type of steel is vastly different from the other. To understand which steel is right for your particular project, you need to know the strengths and the weaknesses of each.

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How is Galvanized Steel Made?

There are two different methods of preparation of each kind of steel. When a steel pipe is coated with a protective layer of zinc, then it becomes a galvanized steel pipe. This is accomplished either by using molten zinc, or a zinc-rich electrolyte solution. The end result is still mostly steel, only with a zinc covering.

How is Stainless Steel Made?

Stainless steel, on the other hand, is a mixture of molten chromium and steel. After it cools, the resulting solid metal combination is treated using an acid solution, which will eliminate remaining impurities. Unlike galvanized steel, which is still mostly made up of steel, stainless steel will at least be ten percent chromium. In both cases, each of these metals are designed to be resistant to corrosion.

Stainless and Galvanized Steel Pipe Prices

One advantage of choosing galvanized steel over stainless steel is the price. While stainless steel can be more expensive, galvanized steel is cost-efficient.

Pipe Strength

In general, stainless steel piping is the strongest of the two.

Which Pipe Rusts Faster?

Like all metals, both of these will inevitably rust. Which of these two metals rusts slower, though? Between these two kinds of steel pipes, stainless steel piping tends to last longer, since it’s anti-rust properties are a part of it’s very composition. Since galvanized steel piping is only protected by a zinc coating, after the coating wears off the pipes will begin rusting faster than stainless steel.

Uses for Galvanized Steel Pipes and Stainless Steel Pipes

With all of the previous advantages and disadvantages taken into consideration, the question remains: what are the uses of each respective type of steel pipe? At the end of the day, both of these are manufactured with anti-rust and anti-corrosion properties in mind. With that said, galvanized pipe isn’t nearly as popular as it once was, since stainless steel tends to be stronger and lasts longer. The biggest factor to consider is your project’s budget. Galvanized steel will be good if you need a lot of steel piping and don’t quite have the budget to afford stainless steel, but it won’t last as long and is difficult to repair. If you can afford it, or make room for it in the budget, stainless steel will provide you with greater longevity. Furthermore, stainless steel can be kept clean easily.
Whatever kind of steel pipe you need for your project, we can shape it or coil it to fit your needs. Contact a Tulsa pipe bending service near you for more information on tube coiling and other services.