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Black Malleable Iron Vs Black Steel

The average homeowner is unaware of how much piping leads into and out of their home. There are the ever-present pipes underneath the sink or ones leading to the hot water heater. However, an in-depth look behind the walls and underneath the ground reveals that there are enough pipes to wrap around the house several times. There are HPVC, PVC, black iron and steel pipes leading everywhere.

Steel Pipe

A steel pipe is made from steel and is used in things such as fences, oil lines, water treatment facilities and bridges. It is very durable and long lasting. Inside the home, it is usually the pipe system that connects the lines from the local water supply or septic tank to the house. Houses near bodies of water will use steel because it corrodes less easily.

Black Iron Pipe

Most homes built before the 1960s have black iron pipe for things such as water and gas lines. It is a form of steel pipe, but made from more malleable products. Most modern homes use PVC pipe, which is cheaper and easier to work with. However, some re-modelers are going back to to black iron pipes because it is very durable for gas. It is rarely, if ever, used anymore to transport water into a home because it corrodes easily.

Working Differences

Construction is the main difference between the two products. Black iron pipes will have seams that allow the user to connect them easily to other pieces of pipe using connector valves. Steel pipe is more often used in industrial applications and it needs to be welded. Even experienced craftsmen have trouble working with both kinds of metal, so do-it-yourselfers shouldn't get discouraged if they make some early mistakes.


Steel pipe will have a very fine feel to it and almost be cool to the touch. It won't scratch as easily as black iron pipe, but that doesn't meant it can't be damaged by a wrench or hammer while working around it. Black iron pipe is course and grainy and will feel the same at room temperature. Black iron pipe will also flake if it is handled a lot. However, both can be heated very easily and will burn the user's hand.


The main problem with black iron pipe--especially in the home--is leakage at connector spots. It requires a lot of work to fix these leaks, which is why many people no longer use black iron pipes. Steel pipes do not have that problem because it is most often welded. However, it is more expensive than black iron pipes or PVC.


Steel pipe will usually cost about 20 percent more than black iron pipe, but it does a better job of saving resources in the long run by being more energy efficient. Its durability and cost are part of the reasons that use of steel pipes for large industrial jobs has grown in the United States. However, black iron pipe is more widely available than steel, which also makes it more convenient.

Black Malleable Iron Vs Black Steel

Is malleable iron the same as black steel?

Malleable iron fittings are lighter fittings in 150# and 300# pressure class. They are made for light industrial and plumbing use up to 300 psi. ... Malleable iron fittings, also called black iron fittings, are available up to 6 inch nominal pipe size, though they are more common to 4 inches.

Is black iron the same as black steel?

"Black iron" is a term that usually refers to a type of black-coated steel, but many different types of black iron pipe exist. The main problem with this is that there are few standards that all black iron pipes adhere to. However, they are all made to handle natural and propane gas, which usually stay below 60psi.

What is black malleable steel?

Uncoated black steel, also called black malleable iron, is made from corrosion-resistant ungalvanized steel and includes a scaly, dark-colored iron oxide coating on the surface.

Does black malleable iron rust?

Black pipe is plain steel pipe without any protective coatings. ... Since black pipe has no protective coating, it may rust easily in wet or humid environments. To stop the pipe from rusting or corroding on the outside, you should provide a layer of protection on the outside of the pipe. The easiest method is painting it.

Is malleable iron strong?

The annealing process of malleable iron causes it to form small particles of carbon that are shaped irregularly. This gives the iron more strength while allowing it to keep ductility. Malleable iron is relatively easy to machine, and it is shock resistant.

Can I weld malleable iron?

Malleable iron cannot be successfully fusion welded and retain its unique properties; to put it another way, you can weld malleable iron as easily as you can weld gray iron, but in the act of welding you will convert some of the malleable iron casting into a gray iron casting.

Is malleable iron the same as galvanized?

Malleable steel pipe fittings are made of iron, so it is easy to rust when exposed to air. ... Hot dip galvanizing refers to the galvanizing treatment method of immersing the pipe fittings in the high temperature molten zinc solution of 700-800 degrees, so as to cover the surface of the pipe fittings with a layer of zinc.

Is black iron stronger than galvanized steel?

Durability. While it's true that steel is already a relatively durable material, galvanized pipes have better strength due to the protective zinc coating. ... On the other hand, black iron pipes are uncoated and therefore less durable. In addition, water does corrode this type of pipe fairly easily.