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About Stainless Steel
The real beginnings of stainless steel In 1913, British metallurgist Harry Brearly accidentally discovered that stainless steel was added to the steel by adding low carbon to it while working to improve the barrel of the rifles. This fact led scientists and metallurgists for example, in 1821, the French metallurgist Pierre Berthier was also noticed, but since the technology of that time and chromium and iron could not be used as they were now, the use of the technique was not possible. In 1890 the German scientist Hans Goldschmidt made experiments and found that the alimunothermic name found the method given.In the recent history of the world, while researching stainless steel researches, it was found that stainless steel which can be hardened by sedimentation but not standard quality in the researches carried out during the second world war.
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What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is an iron alloy with a minimum of at least 10.5% chromium. Chromium is important because it produces a thin oxide on the surface of the stainless steel to protect it from the elements and prevent corrosion. This layer is known as a passive layer and increasing the amount of chromium in the steel can increase its corrosion resistance. Apart from chromium, stainless steel also contains a slew of other elements like Carbon, Silicon and Manganese. Nickel and Molybdenum can also be added to introduce new properties like enhanced formability and further increased corrosion resistance. It is believed that stainless steel was first discovered in1913 by a metallurgist in Sheffield named Harry Brearley. He was working on different types of steel and had noticed a correlation between Chromium and corrosion prevention, specifically that weapons that were made from steel that had 13% Chromium in it did not corrode even after several months.
Stainless Steel Pipe: ASTM A312 TP304, TP316
Stainless Steel Flange: ASTM A182 F304, F316
Stainless Steel Pipe Fittings: ASTM A403 WP304, WP316
Though corrosion resistance is the main advantage of stainless steel, it has a number of other advantages that have made its use so widespread around in the world.
- Stainless steel is highly temperature resistance able to withstand both high and low temperatures quite easily.
- Stainless steel is easily manufactured and thus is widely available.
- Stainless steel is easy to clean and maintained which has increased its use in the kitchen utensils.
- It has a long lasting life and is pretty strong and durable, able to last for years without any damage.
- It is considered to be aesthetically pleasing and attractive.
- It is environment-friendly and is recyclable.
These properties make it useful in a wide range of applications. The following list covers some of the uses.
- Domestic Use: It is used in cutlery, sinks, utensils, razor blades, washing machines, microwave ovens.
- Transport Use: It is used in the exhaust systems, in the car trim, in road tankers, in ship containers and in refuse vehicles.
- Chemical and Pharmaceutical Use: It is used in pressure valves and to process piping.
- Oil and Gas Use: It is used in platform accommodation and cable trays.
- Food and Drink Use: It is used in catering equipment, in brewing and distilling equipment, and in food processing.
- Architectural and Civil Engineering Use: It is used in street furniture, for doors and window fittings, in structural sections, in reinforcement bars, in lighting columns and in masonry support.
- General Use: It is used in springs, in fasteners (like bolts, nuts and washers), in wires.
- Medical Use: It is used in surgical instruments, in surgical implants and in MRI scanners.
Stainless steel is such versatile and important alloy for humans, we have so thousands of applications for it.
Stainless steel could be made to stainless steel pipe, stainless steel pipe fittings, stainless steel flange etc. It has been widely used in different pipelines.
Types Of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a type of iron alloy that has a minimum of 10.5% chromium in it. The chromium layer forms a ‘passive’ layer that protects the steel from corrosion. This corrosion property can be enhanced by increasing the amount of chromium in the steel. Nickel and Molybdenum are other elements that can also be introduced into the composition of the steel to get desirable properties like enhanced formability and further corrosion resistance. Since a wide range of alloys can be called stainless steel depending on its constituents, stainless steel can be divided into different types.
- Austenitic Stainless Steel: This is the most common type of stainless steel. The microstructure of this steel is obtained from the addition of Nickel, Manganese and Nitrogen. This combination of elements gives rise to the same structure as of that ordinary steel at higher temperatures. Its characteristics are defined by its weld-ability and formability. Normal austenitic stainless steel is prone to stress corrosion cracking but this can be overcome by increasing nickel in the steel. They are considered non-magnetic but may show certain kinds of magnetic properties based on its composition and the work hardening of the steel.
- Ferritic Stainless Steel: These are alloys based on chromium and with a carbon content of less than 0.1%. They are magnetic and are not as formable as Austenitic steels. The microstructure of these alloys is similar to carbon and low alloy steels. The main downside with this steel is its relatively poor toughness in welds, so they have to be used in relatively thin sections. But wherever welding is not required these steels are widely used. Steels with high chromium and addition of Molybdenum can be used in very aggressive conditions like sea water.
- Martensitic Stainless Steel: These steels are similar to ferritic stainless stain as they are high chromium and low carbon. But here carbon content can go up to 1%. The high carbon content allows them to be hardened and thus is used in situations where high strength and moderate corrosion resistance is required. They offer general weld-ability and formability and are magnetic.
- Duplex Stainless Steel: These steels are a mix of approximately 50% Ferritic steel and 50% Austenitic steel. This composition gives them strength superior to both Ferritic and Austenitic steel. It is resistant to stress corrosion cracking. There are two types of Duplex steels namely ‘Lean Duplex’ and ‘Super Duplex’. Lean Duplex is made to have comparable corrosion resistance properties as that of Austenitic steels but with enhanced strength and resistance to stress corrosion cracking. Super Duplex is designed to have enhanced strength and resistance to almost all forms of corrosion. They are weld-able but needs care with weld inputs and heat and have moderate formability. They are magnetic but not as magnetic as Ferritic steels because of the 50% of Austenitic steel present.
- Precipitation Hardening: They are extremely strong steels made with elements like Copper, Niobium and Aluminum. The manufacturing process they undergo, adds tiny particles in the matrix structure of the steel imparting the enhanced strength. They have corrosion resistance comparable to Austenitic steels.
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