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Stainless steel is often confused with mild steel or carbon steel. While carbon steel is a less flexible alloy of steel, stainless steel is an alloy of iron and has minimum 10.5% Chromium as a chief component.
The increased resistance to corrosion in stainless steel is due to the naturally occurring chromium-rich oxide film formed on its surface. Although extremely thin, this inert film is adherent to the metal and is extremely protective in a wide range of corrosive media. The film is rapidly self repairing, in the presence of oxygen, if damaged by any external force.