While there are many building materials that are out there, it is safe to say that stainless steel is one among the most versatile. Stainless steel is used in several well-known applications from engineering and construction, home appliances and automobiles, to the healthcare industry. Strong and durable, this material possesses many qualities that make it a great choice.
How It is Made
We hear about stainless steel appliances all the time, but what exactly is stainless steel, and what sets it apart from other steel? Stainless steel is made from a lower carbon steel, and added chromium helps to give stainless steel its unique abilities. The steel, itself, is very hard and strong, and the addition of chromium in the manufacturing process allows for a small film to be formed over the surface of the steel. This means that damage due to exposure to elements, such as oxygen, would take more time to affect the steel.
Resistance to corrosion or the elements is a vital quality when deciding on a building, workplace, or home material. Stainless steel can withstand most atmospheric conditions, and the higher alloyed types can resist acids and corrosive materials, such as alkaline solutions, making aheavy duty stainless steel work tablea great investment for a working environment. Higher temperatures and increased elevation do not pose a problem for a higher alloyed stainless steel.
Stainless steel is very easily shapeable, and it can be cut and welded quickly, which makes for easier manufacturing and distribution. When cold rolled, stainless steel can become quite strong and can replace materials that may be heavier or less cost effective. If hot rolled, stainless steel becomes very pliable and can be stretched and shaped to fit unique projects.
Annealing and descaling can also occur when manufacturing stainless steel. Annealing occurs when hot rolled steel becomes softened, and the descaling process involves pickling the steel with acids to create a matte finish and sealable product. This process is often seen with household appliances or workspaces, such as a heavy duty stainless steel work table.
Strength is one of the main reason that stainless steel is so heavily relied upon in the world around us. Tensile strength is measured with steel, and it involves how much a material can be stretched before falling or breaking. A different combination of alloys during the manufacturing process of stainless steel can influence its heat resistance, resistance to corrosive materials, and tensile strength.
Care and Cleaning
Maintenance is crucial when deciding upon a material for any project. Stainless steel offers a great low maintenance material, as its finish makes it resistant to corrosion, and it does not require much effort to clean. Simply using a mild detergent with warm water followed by a rinse works perfectly well for household appliances or architectural equipment.
Stainless steel is a very hypoallergenic material, so hygiene-conscious environments can benefit greatly from using appliances and materials made from, or with, stainless steel. The look of stainless steel is also aesthetically pleasing, as it continues to look new throughout multiple years of heavy use. This quality makes for a great choice in kitchen appliances, heavy duty machinery, and vehicles. A stainless steel table, often seen in hospitals and pharmacies, provides a clean and hypoallergenic workspace that is easy to maintain. Stainless steel is quite cost effective, and it is easy to produce and distribute for a lower cost due to it being a light weight material.
Steel and the Environment
Stainless steel is also recyclable, and can be made from previously recycled material. A majority of the stainless steel on the market contains recycled materials. This is not only great for the environment, but it encourages good business practices that help to conserve the environment and the world that we live in. Turning that rusted old work table into a shiny new stainless steel table is not only possible, but it is also encouraged.
Businesses are starting to gain incentives from practicing eco-friendly business strategies, as well as noticeable public approval. Using stainless steel is another great way to use a cost-effective material that can both be made from, and made to be, recycled items. Adopting eco-friendly business practices can benefit a business in a multitude of ways, and using steel made from recycled materials is a great stepping stone.
A Sound Material
It is clear that the versatility and strength of stainless steel allows this material to be used in a wide range of application, and it is a solid choice when deciding on a building material. The aesthetically pleasing looking of stainless steel, along with its low maintenance properties and ability to function in mechanically stressful environments allow stainless steel to be a great fit for household appliances, construction materials, and more.