As the world continues to modernize, people are constantly on the lookout for new ways to make their lives easier. Stainless steel is one of those materials that have made a significant impact in recent years due to its many benefits.
However, to better understand how to use this material, it is important to know a few things about it first. Here are 10 things you need to know about this precious metal:
It’s made up of iron, chromium, and nickel. Chromium gives the steel its shiny appearance and resistance to rust while nickel adds its strength and durability. Combined, these properties make this material ideal for a wide array of applications.
This alloy comes in four major grades according to the crystal structure of steel, namely: ferritic, austenitic, martensitic, and duplex steel alloys. Each of these alloys has its unique properties which make them better suited for specific applications.
Harry Brearley, a famous metallurgist in Sheffield, invented the first stainless steel in 1913 while looking for a solution to stop the corrosion of gun barrels for the British Army.
The thermal expansion property of this metal makes it expand and contract slightly in response to temperature changes. When the temperature rises, the metal expands. Likewise, when the temperature falls, the metal contracts.
This alloy is susceptible to corrosion when exposed to high temperatures. Corrosion happens when chromium oxide – the layer protecting the surface of this metal, breaks down when exposed to high heat, allowing oxygen to reach the metal. Subsequently, this causes the metal to rust.
Iron oxide is a chemical compound – usually red-brown, which forms on the surface of steel when iron and oxygen combine. Vinegar contains acetic acid which helps to dissolve iron oxide, leaving the surface of steel smooth and shiny.
If scratched, damaged, or when in contact with acidic foods, some stainless steels can leach metals into food. And while the amount of metal that leaches into food is generally considered to be low, it can still be a health concern, particularly for people with sensitivities or allergies to metals.
It’s a 100% recyclable material, and can be used time and again without losing any of its quality. Plus, it doesn’t release any harmful toxins or chemicals into the environment.
This alloy contains a small amount of ferrite – a type of iron that is magnetic. When exposed to a strong magnetic field, the ferrite can become magnetized and cause the steel to be attracted to the magnet. Although, martensitic stainless steels are generally magnetic without this exposure.
With a high melting point ranging between 2550°F and 2790°F, this alloy is considered a fire-resistant material. Additionally, this metal is non-combustible, meaning it will not ignite in the presence of flames or heat.
Since its inception over 100 years ago, stainless steel has become one of the most popular and versatile materials in the world. From an interesting invention to its important properties, this amazing metal is sure to be a mainstay in the world for many years to come.
Whether you’re a contractor looking for materials for a new building or a homeowner searching for steel for your DIY project, please contact New Mexico Metals LLC, the leading stainless steel supplier in Albuquerque.
Our wide variety of products is sure to have what you’re looking for, and our team of experts is always available to answer any questions you may have.
Thank you for choosing New Mexico Metals LLC!