Steel, Iron, and Stainless Steel: Understanding the Differences and Unique Properties

GB/T20932-2007 Definition and Classification of Pig Iron specifies the definition and classification of pig iron, which is applicable to unalloyed pig iron and alloy pig iron.

What is pig iron?

It refers to an iron carbon alloy whose carbon content exceeds 2% and the content of other elements does not exceed the limit value specified in the following table.

Limit value of other elements in pig iron (mass fraction%)

ElementLimit 1
Total amount of other alloy elements2≤10.0


1. The material with content higher than the limit value is ferroalloy;

2. See the national standard GB/T20932-2007 pig iron definition and classification for detailed explanation.

GBT13304.1-2008 Classification of Steels specifies the basic criteria for classifying steels according to chemical composition, as well as the basic limit value of alloy element content in non alloy steel, low alloy steel and alloy steel.

What is steel?

It refers to a material with iron as the main element, carbon content generally below 2%, and other elements.

(Note: The carbon content in chrome steel may be greater than 2%, but 2% is usually the boundary between steel and cast iron.)

The grades and chemical composition limit values specified in GBT20878-2007 Stainless Steel and Heat resistant Steel Grades and Chemical Composition are applicable to the preparation and revision of product standards for stainless steel and heat resistant steel (including ingots and semi-finished products).

What is stainless steel?

It refers to steel with stainless steel and corrosion resistance as its main characteristics, chromium content of at least 10.5% and carbon content of at most 1.2%.

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