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.