Stainless steel is an industrial breakthrough that has led to stronger buildings and more hygienic food preparation surfaces.
Stainless steel is known for its ability to withstand corrosion. Most metals will become encrusted with rust after being exposed to the elements; stainless steel lasts longer, thanks to a thin layer of chromium oxide film that not only resists oxidation but can actually be self-repairing.
Aside from chromium oxide, steel is made of many other metals like nickel, nitrogen and molybdenum. Together they form a particular kind of crystal structure that makes it easy to shape. Hence, there are stainless steel pipes, stainless steel ovens, and stainless steel bridges and building facades.
There are many different kinds of stainless steel. Austenitic is by far the most common. It contains 7% nickel and thus is more flexible than other types. It is best used for products that require a lot of shaping, such as pots and pipes.
Ferritic stainless steel is better known for having strong anti-corrosion properties. It is best used for products that are exposed to a lot of water, such as boilers and washing machines.
Martensitic stainless steel, on the other hand, is harder and stronger. It is best used for products that will be exposed to a lot of friction or force, such as knives and turbines. It has about 13% chromium.
Austenitic and ferritic stainless steel can be combined to form duplex stainless steel. This amazing metal is strong and flexible, and is often used to make very large industrial machines such as ships. Its properties are also highly valued by
the petrochemical industry.
Stainless steel is earth friendly because it is easy to recycle. It can be melted down and turned into other products.