Stainless steel has been used since 1990s for numerous industries such as skyscrapers, memorial, kitchen utensils, and many more. You probably use many things that made by stainless steel every day, but have you ever stopped to think about what makes stainless steel so unique? Here are 10 little-known facts about stainless steel:
- Stainless steel is an iron alloy that have minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass. It is known as inox steel or inox from French “inoxydable”.
- The first stainless steel was discovered by Harry Brearley, a Sheffield metallurgist when he was doing the experiment with different types of steel for weapons in 1913. He noticed that a 13% Chromium steel had not corroded after several months.
- Stainless steel can be milled into strip, tube, wire, sheet, or bar. It has been used for numerous industries, such as cookware and cutlery, household hardware, surgical instruments, industrial equipment, jewelry, and many more!
- The manufacturing of stainless steel divided into 6 processes: melting and casting, forming, heat treatment, de-scaling, cutting, and finishing. First, the steel which is the raw material of stainless steel is melted in an electric furnace. Second, it goes through forming operations with hot rolling machine. Third it goes to the heat treatment called annealing step. The purpose of this step is to relieve internal stresses and soften the metal. The annealing step caused a scale on the steel, it needs to be removed. This process called de-scaling process. And then the next step is cutting and finishing.
- Stainless steel can be divided into five groups based on the combination of metal alloys. Austenitic has a combination of 18% chromium and 10% nickel. Martensitic contain 12-15% chromium, 0.2-1% molybdenum, and 0.1-1% carbon. Ferritic contains between 10.5% until 27% chromium. Another two groups are duplex and precipitation hardening.
- The durability of stainless steel is adorable! It resists corrosion and oxidation. It has the ability to resist rust because when stainless steel exposed to oxygen and moisture, stainless steel produces a thin oxide film and essentially it repairs by itself.
- Stainless steel can be expands and contracts when the temperature varies. Construction industries have to account for thermal expansion when they use steel material including stainless steel for a building. For example, The Eiffel Tower is approximately 984 feet tall during summer but on cold days, the metal tower is approximately 6 inches shorter.
- Stainless steel can be made into “soap” because it can neutralize strong odors on the hands, like garlic, onion, or fish odor. This unique property due to sulfur compounds in stainless steel that can reduce odors.
- Stainless steel is 100% recyclable. 60% of stainless steel is made from recycled materials.
- In 2013, total world crude steel production was 1,607.2 mmt. The biggest steel producer is currently China, which accounted for 48.5% of world’s steel production.
Stainless steel is unique. It also has multipurpose functions and can be use in numerous industries. China as the top of steel producer and Shanghai Metal Corporation which is based in China is one of the leading businesses in the manufacturing of metalworking industry. We can produce and export the best quality of stainless steel and other metal products and service. We prioritize the efficient of manufacturing and environmental sustainability.
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Source: Wikipedia, Madehow, Extradigital, Jamesduva
Ardelia Sassie/SMC Editor