Today we’ll take an in-depth look at one of our favorites and most popular metals: stainless steel. At Anderson Shumaker, we know our metals. From alloys to carbon and tool steels, we forge them all. However, most people aren’t familiar with the different metals we use. Each material has its own properties, attributes, and special characteristics.
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is a steel alloy. It’s a combination of different elements, including carbon, chromium, iron ore, and nickel. Stainless steel contains a minimum of 10.5% chromium and a maximum of 1.2% carbon. When this steel is made, the chromium creates an exterior film of chromium oxide, which prevents moisture and air from reaching the metal’s internal structure. This film provides protection against oxidation and corrosion. As a result, the steel transforms into stainless steel. The chromium content is what determines the metal’s grade, and different chromium levels offer different levels of corrosion resistance. While stainless steel is more rust resistant than ordinary steel, it will still corrode in in high salinity or poor circulation environments.
What are the Benefits of Using Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is well-known for its smooth appearance and cleanliness. Its sanitation properties make it a popular choice for food industry products. It’s also heat and fire resistant, 100% recyclable, and corrosion resistant. These properties make it an excellent choice for aerospace. This metal also has a great strength-to-weight ratio. Stainless steel is available in many grades that can be used for a variety of applications across many industries. Because of all this and more, it’s one of our favorite metals to work with.