The Most Amazing Things Happening With Stainless Steel
Humankind has always been endeavoring to make improvements in their lives. A relatively new product of these endeavors in the field of material science is stainless steel. While man has used iron since prehistoric times, stainless steel is comparatively new.
One of the major drawbacks of iron through the ages has been its rusting factor. If left exposed to environmental factors, iron begins to rust away. The rate of rusting gets further accelerated if there is the presence of any hard corrosive agents in the vicinity of iron.
So despite its superb strength and ductility, iron failed to all the varied needs of man.
Stainless Steel Was Born
Different methods to make iron rust-free were being explored by scientists since the beginning of the 19th century. But the first concrete step in this direction came with the introduction of chromium to the French Academy. It was discovered that chromium is largely resistant to many kinds of strong acids.
So its properties were explored, and this led to the birth of the chromium- iron alloys, also known as the chromium steels. In a sense, chromium steel is seen as a predecessor of modern-day stainless steel.
Constant efforts were made to improve the quality of this alloy, and it was only around 1910 that the stainless steel as we recognize it today was born.
It is estimated that before the Great Depression hit, nearly twenty-five thousand tonnes of stainless steel were being manufactured and sold in the US market alone. Even today, stainless steel remains highly in demand and is used almost in every sector of life.
Outstanding Properties of Stainless Steel
The fact that makes stainless steel so popular and versatile is none other than its properties. High-quality stainless steel from the top manufacturers has several benefits associated with it. Take a look at some of the critical properties of stainless steel that makes it so widely used across industries:
Resistance to Corrosion
The first and the most valued property of stainless steel is that it is resistant to corrosion. The chromium present in the stainless steel alloy gives it a protective cover and makes it resistant to corrosion. However, the corrosion resistance of steel can depend largely on its grade. A good grade for a particular project will depend on the environment where it is to be used.
At sub-zero temperature, the toughness of several elements drops significantly. But stainless steel is immune to that as well. Even at low temperatures, stainless steel retains its flexibility. In fact, authentic stainless steel is recorded to have a higher tensile strength at the cryogenic temperature level.
Apart from these, flexibility, hot and cold working strength, and work hardening are some of the other factors that make stainless steel an excellent choice in different types of projects.
Uses of Stainless Steel
Ever since its invention, there is no number of ways in which stainless steel is being constantly put to use. Right from the utensils used in everyday life to heavy types of machinery, stainless steel has been a part of it all. Yet with time, newer and more innovative uses of stainless steel are being discovered by men.
Go through some of the recent and most innovative uses of stainless steel:
Fine Pieces of Décor
The shine and glimmer of stainless steel have always caught the eyes of the makers. One such recent use of stainless steel owes much to its looks. Stainless steel is being forged into fine pieces of interior décor these days. Malleable into different types of shapes, this alloy’s looks are enough to add a touch of sophistication along with the right amount of bling to any place.
Stainless steel vases and cut works are often the central pieces in many of the décor styles. Stainless steel is also being used in combination with other materials such as copper and glass to play with the looks of the items.
Stainless steel has also made a unique place for itself in the medical field. The world of medical science requires a high amount of precision in its materials. This makes stainless steel the ideal choice when it comes to designing the various equipment required for surgery. Further stainless steel can be easily cleaned and sterilized, which gives an extra point to this alloy.
Even in the field of dentistry, stainless steel is widely used to fix dentures and bridges. Since there are no harmful effects of stainless steel on the human body, fine wires made out of them are used to keep the fixtures in place.
Its non-corrosive property also makes it an ideal choice of pharmaceutical companies for objects such as pill funnels, piping creams, and hoppers.
As mentioned earlier, stainless steel products are not known to cause any kind of harm to the human body. Since they do not release toxins or get corroded easily, they are used widely in the food industry. The grades of steel considered safe for the food industry are 304 and 316. The grade that you will have to choose depends on the environment where you are using it.
Stainless steel is used both for food processing as well as storage. Since it does not rust away, stainless steel keeps the quality of the food intact. It also does not change the taste of the food. The 316 grade of steel is the best if you require complete antibacterial cleaning.
Stainless steel has been in use for construction for quite some time now. But the way it is being used today is quite different from its uses in the past. From the Helix Bridge to the One World Trade Centre, all have been done in stainless steel. Stainless steel gives a fine finish to the building exteriors while also proving to be extremely energy efficient. New and more unconventional uses of stainless steel are being explored each day. It is only time that will reveal what new innovations in stainless steel will be discovered by humankind.
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- How quality testing of steel pipes affects the final products made
- What is the difference between carbon steel and stainless-steel pipe?
- Stainless Steel for Interior Designers: How to make design more efficient using stainless steel.
- How is stainless steel manufactured in India: A guide to find the right stainless steel
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