WHAT EXACTLY IS STAINLESS STEEL?

Take a dive into the wonderful world of Stainless Steel. Learn what it’s made of, where it’s used and how it benefits a variety of industries.

Are you familiar with stainless steel but not totally sure what it is or how it works?

Here’s a glimpse into the significance of stainless steel and how it substantially benefits the food and beverage, automotive and medical industries, as well as demanding structural work.

What Is Stainless Steel?

what is stainless steel?

Stainless steel is made primarily from iron and chromium with a mixture of other alloying elements such as nickel, carbon, nitrogen, silicon and copper. While stainless steel requires 10.5% chromium, the ratio of the additional alloys depends on the grade requested and the intended use.

The mixture of alloys has a significant effect on the stainless steel’s resistance to low and high temperatures, corrosion resistance, and improved strength, formability and weldability.

Stainless steel is an environmentally neutral and chemically inactive alloy. It is also infinitely recyclable, making it the most “green” metal on the planet. With global warming and climate change in headlines across the world, stainless steel is a great option for companies looking to reduce their carbon footprint.

Is Stainless Steel Right For Your Company?

Because of its specialized properties and ability to withstand extreme conditions, stainless steel can be found in multiple industries.

Food Processing

stainless steel in the food processing industry

The food processing industry requires extremely sterile environments. Food processing machines are built out of stainless steel material due to the inability of bacteria to survive on the steel itself. Besides the machinery, stainless steel is also used on food preparation surfaces, food transport systems, ovens and knives.

Energy

stainless steel in the energy industry

As mentioned before, stainless steel can withstand extreme conditions such as high temperatures and immense stress. When it comes to the energy industry, stainless steel is used to construct nuclear reactors, wind towers and hydroelectric generators.

Medical

stainless steel in the medical industry

Just like the food processing industry, the medical industry requires excessively sterile environments. Because bacteria aren’t able to survive on stainless steel, it is widely used within the medical field. In fact, stainless steel is so prevalent throughout the medical industry that it has its own grade of stainless steel typically referred to as “surgical stainless steel”.

Automotive

stainless steel in the automotive industry

Stainless steel is extremely durable which means it’s the perfect candidate for the manufacturing of vehicles and various automotive parts and pieces. Experts debate that stainless steel makes for a strong chassis; however, others believe it’s a little too rigid to handle the standard “crumple zones” during front or rear-end collisions.

For Elon Musk and the rest of the geniuses (cough cough, super nerds) at Tesla, stainless steel was the number one choice for the much-anticipated Cybertruck. Besides the Cybertruck’s stainless steel exterior, you can find stainless steel in wheels, windshield wipers and certain air-bag assemblies.

Home Appliances

stainless steel in the home appliance industry

If you haven’t been keeping up with the latest real estate trends, you might not realize how prominent stainless steel is in the housing market. Stainless steel appliances are all the rage. Not only are they easy to clean and aesthetically pleasing but they can significantly increase the value of a home.

Construction

stainless steel in the construction industry

Last but certainly not least, the construction industry. How could a welding supply company write an entire blog about stainless steel without mentioning metal fabrication and construction?! Because of its strength and resistance to corrosion, stainless steel is used for building facades, especially on high impact buildings such as the Chrysler Building in New York, Shanghai Tower in China or Zimbabwe’s Eastgate Centre.

You can also find it on the interior of buildings in the shape of counter tops, handrails, bathroom fixtures, lighting pendants, shelving and floating stair case components.

How Is Stainless Steel Made For A Specific Application?

We’ve covered a few of the industries stainless steel can be used. Now it’s time to learn how stainless steel is made to meet specific demands for each job or application.

Visit AbilityFab.com to see how SS Fabricators Make Stainless Steel then head to Arc-Zone.com for all the tools you need to weld stainless steel like a pro!

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