Why Choose Stainless Steel?
Used right across the spectrum of the industry in a near-infinite variety of ways, stainless steel is one of the most useful and versatile materials in the world. In this edition of the BS Stainless blog, we look at some of the qualities and properties of stainless steel that make it so ubiquitous in the modern world.
One of the key properties of stainless steel is its exceptional resistance to corrosion, which comes about due to the thin layer of chromium oxide that forms on its surface (known as the 'passive layer'). Lower grades of stainless steel withstand corrosion caused by water and ordinary atmospheric conditions while the higher grades can also resist corrosion from acid and alkali chemicals.
The passive layer also imparts a superior hygienic quality to stainless steel. This property, along with the fact that the metal is easy to clean, is the reason that the material is so widely used in food production areas and medical environments.
Stainless steel can continue to deliver optimum performance even when subject to extremes of temperature. It is particularly useful in the oil and gas industries for the creation of things like boilers, valves and heat exchangers. Some stainless steel grades are specially manufactured to deliver consistent mechanical properties in cryogenic applications.
Sustainability and environmental-awareness become ever more important in the fight against climate change. Stainless steel is widely regarded as a sustainable choice due to the fact that it is 100% recyclable. Unlike with other materials, recycling stainless steel does not affect the properties of the metal no matter how many recycling processes it is subjected to.
Stainless steel is an incredibly strong material, which makes it especially useful to the construction industry. The strength of the metal combines with a relatively light weight, which makes stainless steel easier to handle and cheaper to transport.
With a wide variety of surface finishes available, stainless steel has an attractive appearance. This has seen the metal used in many different architectural applications and also as an artistic medium.
To learn more information about the myriad properties, qualities and uses of stainless steel, check out the BS Stainless website.