Since its invention in the 19th Century, stainless steel has been trusted across a variety of industries. Stainless steel properties include being durable, easy to clean and maintain, inexpensive, and readily available.
Below, we’ll go over how stainless steel is made and talk about some of its many applications.
What Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is a type of steel made from a combination of iron and nickel (sometimes chromium as well). Unlike ordinary steel, stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, rust, and staining.
Stainless steel is made by using a special process called cold forging. In its most basic form, it is formed by pressing thin sheets of metal together. Though the stainless steel industry has become more sophisticated over time, the basic idea behind the production of metal alloys goes all the way back to the Middle Ages.
Stainless Steel Applications
Here are just a few of stainless steel’s many applications. Stainless steel uses are all around us, sometimes where you least expect.
Food and Kitchens
When most people think of stainless steel, they usually think of forks, spoons, knives, and kitchen appliances such as blenders and pots. Stainless steel is a perfect material for cooking. It can be heated to a high temperature without blemishing, it is easy to clean, and it is cheap and durable.
Stainless steel is also used in larger fixtures such as kitchen hoods, refrigerators, and sinks.
Health and Medicine
Stainless steel is often used in medical fields because it is easy to clean and resists corrosion. If you’ve ever been to the dentist or had surgery, you will have noticed that instruments such as scalpels and tartar scrapers are usually made of stainless steel.
Surgical implants such as replacement joints are also generally made of stainless steel. Body implants need to be made of non-corrosive material to avoid dangerous infections.
Architecture and Construction
Stainless steel is commonly used in architecture as a cladding material or as part of the interior of a building. Famously, New York’s Chrysler Building is clad in stainless steel at the point, giving it a brilliant appearance.
Stainless steel is easy to weld and often attractive. For that reason, it has become one of the defining materials of architecture from the post-war period and beyond.
Cables and Heavy Industry
Because stainless steel is light, powerful, and non-corrosive, it is often used in heavy industry. You’ll find it in oil rigs, factories, and storage tanks.
Stainless steel wire rope is often used in cranes, mines, and aircraft cables. Small strands of steel are twisted into powerful ropes that can support several tons of weight.
For more on stainless steel wire, see this article: The Top 3 Benefits of Stainless Steel Wire Rope.
More on Industry and Technology
Stainless steel is just one of many industrial innovations that keep the modern world running. For more on the latest in science and technology, see our tech news section here on our site.
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