Since the 1990s, stainless steel has been used in many industries. Since the 1990s, stainless steel has been used by many industries to build skyscrapers and memorials. It is also used in kitchen utensils.
You are probably surrounded with stainless steel items, like pans, handrails or pen springs. You probably use stainless steel at work every day if you have to use shipping containers or exhaust systems.
Have you ever thought about what makes stainless such a unique material? You may be surprised by the versatility of stainless steel.
- Certain Stainless Steels Can be Magnetic
In most cases, stainless steel is not magnetic. This is not the case for all stainless steel types. The microstructure of stainless steel determines its magnetic properties.
The five main groups of stainless steel are:
- Precipitation Hardening
Each type has a unique combination of metals. Austenitic stainless has 18% chromium with 10% nickel. Austenitic stainless is non-magnetic due to this combination.
Martensitic steels are made up of 12-15% chrome and 0.2-1% Molybdenum. The martensitic Stainless Europe contains no nickel and 0.1 to 1% carbon. This combination is ferromagnetic. The strength of the magnetizing field will determine its magnetic properties. If magnetized, martensitic stainless will have permanent magnetic properties.
Ferritic stainless alloys are chromium-based and contain between 10.5% to 27% of chromium, but little or no nickel. Ferritic stainless is also ferromagnetic, like martensitic. Ferritic stainless is not as magnetic as martensitic.
- Stainless Steel Can Stain
The stainless steel family is made up of materials that are resistant to corrosion and oxidation. It is resistant to rust, which can cause unsightly blotches. When stainless steel is exposed to moisture and oxygen, it produces a thin film of oxide that coats the metal. It can repair itself.
But stainless steel is not impervious to stains, despite its resistance. Over time, the protective film will wear off and cause corrosion.
Maintaining stainless steel requires regular cleaning and oxygen supply.
- Stainless Steel Can Be Recycled
Steel is one the most recycled material on earth. According to the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI), approximately 88% is recycled. Two out of every three tons of steel are made from recycled steel.
Steel industry recycles byproducts such as mill scale, slags from steelmaking, and liquids used in processing. Steelmaking dust, sludge and other byproducts can be recycled and used to produce other metals like zinc.
- Stainless steel can be made into “soap”.
Many reputable manufacturers make Stainless Europe shop. This is basically a bar of stainless steel shaped like a soap.
Stainless steel soap will not kill bacteria or germs like regular soap, but it can neutralize strong smells. Rub the bar onto your hands after handling fish, garlic, onions, or other strong odors. The smell should be gone.
Why does stainless have this unique property? Researchers hypothesize the stainless steel will bind to sulfur compounds found in different substances. This reduces the odor.
- Stainless Steel expands and contracts
Stainless Steel has high temperature resistance. This makes it valuable for the aerospace and nuclear industries. Although it is more resistant than other metals to oxidation, stainless steel will still expand and contract when temperatures change.
Construction industries must therefore account for thermal expansion in the creation of a steel framework for a building. In the summer, the Eiffel Tower is 984 feet high (excluding the antenna). On cold days, however, the metal is about 6 inches shorter.
- Stainless steel can be woven and worn
It is possible to draw stainless steel into thin wires without losing its strength. Many stainless steel manufacturers make stainless steel mesh fine enough and flexible enough to wear.
Clothing made of stainless steel is resistant to heat and radiation, and is used by the textile and electrical industries.
In the tech world, stainless steel thread is used to make touchscreen gloves. Capacitive touchscreens detect electrically conductive objects (such as fingers). Stainless steel gloves mimic the electrical current of a finger.
Some manufacturers also weave stainless steel fibres into carpet. This metal alloy can make life easier because it has many uses. Ask a stainless-steel distributor for more information.