Black Steel vs. Carbon Steel – vs. Stainless, Gas Pipe

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Black steel at a material level is Steel that has not been galvanized. It provides a version of carbon steel with a dark-colored iron oxide exterior. This exterior protects against corrosion, whereas standard carbon steel usually requires coating or additional protection against corrosion. In this article, you will learn the differences between black steel vs. carbon steel, black steel vs. stainless steel, and the use of black steel pipe in gas service.

Black Steel vs. Carbon Steel

Carbon steel and black steel possess specific distinctions. These distinctions also explain why different steel varieties are employed for different purposes.

Erosion Susceptibility

Black steel piping and carbon steel pipe fittings are vulnerable to corrosion – one of the critical differences between carbon steel and black steel. On the other hand, black steel piping is non-galvanize steel that does not rust.


Carbon steel has a high carbon content, as the name implies. On the other hand, Black steel takes its name from the dark-colored iron oxide that coats its surface. Aside from that, black steel piping is made of various malleable iron grades. Carbon steel piping is manufactured seamlessly. As a result, carbon steel pipe fittings can be of use in applications that demand a high-pressure flows or applications.

Material Applications

The utilization of either black steel or carbon steel is extremely common among a plethora of industries. Utilization of both types of steel may be seen in the transportation, fabrication, construction, and utilities industries extensively. Engineering design often considers the advantages and disadvantages to both types when being added to design and fabricated in field. This section will cover some of those common applications while highlighting the difference between the two in their respective applications.

Use of Steel Pipe in Gas Service

Because of their strength and low maintenance requirements, black steel pipes have many applications. Because black steel pipe is uncoated and manufactured without a seam, it is commonly utilize to transmit gas such as propane and natural gas to homes and businesses. They are widely used to transfer gas and water between rural and urban areas and safeguard electrical cables and provide high-pressure steam and air. In the oil and petroleum industries, black steel pipes are also utilize to transport significant amounts of oil through distant places.

Gas distribution inside and outside residences, water wells, and sewage systems are other applications for black steel pipes. On the other hand, black steel pipes are never use to transport potable water because they corrode in water, and the minerals in the tube dissolve in the water, clogging the line.


Pipes made of steel are safer for both people and the environment. When it comes to CO2 emissions during manufacturing, research demonstrates that black steel is more environmentally friendly than carbon steel. More than 100 significant projects will require flanges, pipelines, and various pipe fittings in the next five years. Because black steel has a lower carbon content than carbon steel pipe fittings, most projects might use black steel instead of carbon steel pipe fittings.

Carbon steel piping is less expensive than black steel piping at any pressure grade, as it may be made much thinner. It also has a greater carrying capacity than black steel pipes making it more cost-effective due to its versatility. When choosing the correct type of steel piping, there are several other factors to consider.

Black Steel vs. Stainless Steel

A close up of stainless steel pipes
Courtesy: Reliance Foundry

Stainless steel and black stainless steel have unique finishes that transform any regular material into something special. But which style do you go with if you just have one option?

When it comes to cleaning, stainless steel surfaces are relatively simple to maintain. Stainless steel appliances, for example, are fingerprint resistant, making smudges harder to find. However, occasionally, some very sticky hands come into contact with the appliances, resulting in a sloppy finish. Fortunately, all that is required to clear up the mess is a clean washcloth. So, why wouldn’t you go for the metallic look? Unless you’re looking for a change, that is.

On the other hand, black steel is often times everything you’ve ever liked about stainless steel, in a sleek black exterior. The black color comes from It’s coating of black oxide, which also allows it more protection than stainless steel. Unlike regular stainless steel, black steel is new and bold. It is easily a statement piece and has a smudge-proof coating making it easy to clean.