Stainless Steel is a major part of our lives. Even if we often overlook it, the rust proof metal forms the basis of many of the buildings and equipment we see and use every day. Stainless steel appears to be just a humble low carbon steel on paper, but the addition of chromium and its ability to effectively self heal following chemical or mechanical damage makes it an excellent solution for a range of different projects.
Some advantages of Stainless Steel:
- Excellent resistance to corrosion
- Strong and ductile
- Retains strength at extreme temperatures
- Aesthetic surface finishes
- Contains up to 80% of recycled materials
- Environmentally friendly
- 100% recyclable
- Cost effective option for long term projects
- Non magnetic
Stainless steel is widely used in modern construction due to its appealing combination of strength, flexibility, corrosion resistance, reliability and longevity. A case study for the versatility of stainless steel is the Chrysler Building in New York, which uses the material for the polished accents that define its art deco style.
Stainless steel is a great option for any outdoor application. It can be polished to enhance it aesthetic qualities and to increase the diffusion of natural light, which can reduce energy consumption. It also supports the current trend of sustainable building as it is often comprised of a large percentage of recycled metal and can then be reused or upcycled at a later date.
Industries that use Stainless Steel:
- Oil and gas for subsea pipelines and cable trays as it can withstand the rigours of highly corrosive environments
- Transportation for ship containers, road tankers, refuse vehicles, exhaust systems and structural components due to its high strength, which maximises structural integrity
- Domestic for products such as washing machine drums, saucepans and sinks
- Chemical and pharmaceutical for process piping and pressure vessels
- Medical for surgical and dental instruments as it is easy to sterilize
- Food and drink for catering equipment, brewing and distilling as it does not affect food flavours and can be used with strong cleaning products
Types of Stainless Steel
There are more than 150 stainless steel grades and they are generally made into sheets, bars, plates and other popular forms for use in various industries and sectors. Around 15 types of steel are used in common applications. These include:
Austenitic – High in chromium, offers superior corrosion resistance and can be easily welded Ferritic – Cheaper and weaker than austenitic but less prone to stress corrosion cracking than other steels. Duplex and Super Duplex – Very strong, offers better resistance to corrosion and stress corrosion cracking. Magnetic and weldable but not as easy to form.
Stainless steel has a range of qualities that make it a robust material in an assortment of industries. Find the best deal and order using a cut-to-measure service with SteelScout, your premier outlet for stainless steel. We offer round bars, flat bars, sheets and weld mesh from a selected group of suppliers located across the UK. Build your own quote online or speak to one of our account managers and and we'll search our network of suppliers to get the best deal available near your location.