Stainless steel is one the most popular choices for material construction. In fact, almost everybody has used it or come into contact with it at some point and time. Yet not everyone is completely aware of the unique properties and advantages you get from working with it.
At Superior Steel Fabrication and Superior Machining, we specialize in contract fabrication and precision machining, so we’ve had our fair share of experience working with stainless steel.
Here is a brief overview of stainless steel, its properties, and the advantages you get from it.
What Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is a low carbon steel that must have a minimum of 10% chromium. The addition of chromium to the steel causes the formation of a chromium-oxide film which gives stainless steel its unique properties such as its resistance to corrosion and its ability to heal itself when in the presence of oxygen.
There are over 60 different grades of stainless steel. Lower grades work well when exposed to atmospheric and water environments while higher grades are preferable for exposure to either alkaline or acidic solutions.
The Advantages of Using Stainless Steel
Probably the biggest disadvantage to working with stainless steel is its high upfront cost. But given how long it will last, that cost is spread out over a longer lifespan than other comparable materials and actually makes stainless steel the more economical choice in the long-run. Here are the other advantages to choosing stainless steel:
Corrosion Resistant: This is one of the reasons that stainless steel is such a great value over the long-term. The percentage of chromium determines how resistant the steel is to corrosive environments. Lower percentages will work well in wet environments while higher percentages are required for acidic or alkaline environments.
100% Recyclable: As much as 50% of stainless steel production in the U.S. uses recycled metal materials.
Hygienic: Stainless steel is very hygienic making it perfect for use in hospitals, kitchens, or anywhere where hygiene is of the utmost importance.
Heat Resistant: Stainless Steel’s resistance to high temperatures makes it a popular choice for various heat exchangers, boilers, valves, and other applications where high levels of heat are present.
High Strength to Weight Ratio: With higher grades, there is a significant strength-to-weight advantage that allows for less material to be used to achieve the same result as lower grades of stainless steel and other metals.
Aesthetically Pleasing: There’s a reason that many household appliances feature stainless steel as it makes a visually pleasing addition to any space.