Stainless steel: everything you need to know



Stainless steel is known for its excellent resistance to corrosion. It is used in many aspects of our day-to-day life such as heavy industry, architecture, real estate, automobile manufacturing, surgery and dentistry and the list goes on.

But what exactly is stainless steel? It is a type of steel that is highly resistant to atmospheric corrosion. Its composition is created in such a way that when they are alloyed with other metals such as chromium and nickel, they are less reactive and achieve greater resistance.

In this sense, it is a material that does not destroy itself, although it is not eternal. This means that it simply has a higher resistance to corrosion when subjected to a certain aggressive medium or agent.

The resistance to oxidation and corrosion of stainless steel is mainly due to the presence of chromium, which allows the formation of a very thin film of chromium oxide on the surface of the steel, which is waterproof and insoluble in the most corrosive media. It contains about 12% chromium. Thus, experts define stainless steel as the group of ferrous alloys resistant to oxidation and corrosion.

There are many companies that are dedicated to the commercialization of stainless steel. One of them is Steel Color, an Italian company that specializes in the manufacture of coloured stainless steel. Its headquarters are in Cremona and, there, it has established the production, as well as the research and development of new stainless steel finishes.

The sectors they focus on are very diverse. In this way, you can manufacture stainless steel for the construction sector, for the automotive industry or for the urban and interior sector. In its applications, we will talk later.

What characteristics does stainless steel have?

The most recognized characteristics of this type of steel are the resistance to corrosion and the ability to compose hygienic and, also, aesthetic parts. However, it has many other characteristics. We are going to comment on five of them:

First of all, it is resistant to high temperatures.

Second, it allows surface finishes and varied shapes, which makes it even more attractive.

Third, it has a strong visual appeal, characterized by transmitting modernity, lightness and prestige.

Fourth, it has adequate mechanical resistance, which allows it to be a very moldable material.

And, finally, it is easy to clean because the surface roughness is low. In this regard, it makes stainless steel objects easier to disinfect. In this regard, it makes stainless steel objects easier to disinfect.

Thus, you can see that stainless steel becomes a very attractive material for various purposes. We will talk about its uses in the next section.

Where stainless steel is used?

As we have mentioned, stainless steel has physicochemical properties or characteristic superior to common steels, achieving higher resistance. In this way, the main uses of stainless steel are in the following areas:

On the one hand, home. Stainless steel is used in large household appliances and small objects in our daily lives.

On the other hand, industry and construction. Stainless steel is one of the most widely used materials for the production of parts for motor vehicles, as well as, for the construction of buildings and houses.

And finally, the urban centres. This material is very common for the construction of facades in urban centres and for signalling.

What are the benefits of stainless steel?

There are several benefits that make stainless steel one of the best options to choose from. Let’s talk about some of them.

1. Corrosion resistance

No metal, except gold and platinum in its natural state, is completely corrosion-proof, but stainless steel has proven in hundreds of applications to be one of the most economical solutions to combat the ever-present elements that cause corrosion.

2. The hygiene

Stainless steel withstands continuous cleaning, and unlike other materials, it cannot be worn away by excessive cleaning. Most of the time all that is needed to clean the surface of stainless steel is hot water.

3. The aesthetics

Stainless steel will look the same today and in thirty years. It will not flake or split, even in the face of the toughest elements, such as sun, wind, snow or rain.

However, like any other material it must be maintained, cared for and cleaned on a regular basis.

4. Fire resistance

Stainless steel is useful for use in buildings and structures where fire resistance is very important, since it is a material that is not flammable and, therefore, will not help to stoke the flames of the fire.

5. Sustainability

Stainless steel has low maintenance cost and long life. Both are key indicators that the impact of this metal on the planet is the lowest possible. Stainless steel is easily recycled to produce more stainless steel.

It is estimated that around 80% of stainless steel is recycled at the end of its useful life.

Photo by Ricardo Gomez Angel on Unsplash