Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, where as Stainless steels are steels that contains at least 10.5 percent chromium, less than 1.2 percent carbon and other alloying elements.
Some facts about Steel & Stainless Steel Products:
Stainless steel is the 'green material' as it is completely and infinitely recyclable.
The actual recovery rate of stainless steel is close to 100 percent in construction sector.
It meets the needs of sustainable construction which can be ensured by its longevity
The corrosion resistance and mechanical properties off stainless steel can be further enhanced by adding other elements, such as nickel, molybdenum, titanium, niobium, manganese, etc.
It does not leach compounds when comes in contact with elements like water which that could modify its composition.
Stainless steel can be found in many everyday use because it is aesthetically appealing, easy to maintain, highly durable, extremely hygienic and offers a wide variety of aspects in addition to environmental benefits.
It plays an important role in energy, transportation, building, research, medicine, food and logistics industries.
A chromium oxide layer is formed on the surface of the material when comes in contact with oxygen which help protect it and has the unique ability to repair itself.
Products made of stainless steel are used on a daily basis, either in the kitchen, on the road, at the doctor's office, or in your buildings.
Stainless steel is not prone to corrosion, rusting or staining with exposure to water unlike ordinary steel.
Stainless steel is vulnerable to staining in areas with low oxygen, high salinity, or poor air circulation.
Stainless steel is a poor conductor of electricity unlike ordinary steel. The electrical conductivity o stainless steel is much lower than that of copper.
Stainless steel has a long life cycle and is 100 percent recyclable.
The desired end products are produced for intended applications by processing finished steel products such as plate, strip, rods and bars, profiles, wire and tube.
Certain finished products such as bars and profiles are used directly within the construction industry.
Uses of Steel Products:
Steel is a multi-purpose alloy that can be used in numerous traditional applications, including the construction, automotive and aircraft industries, heavy industrial equipment, transport infrastructure, household appliances, weapons and more.
Often steel is not visible as it is hidden by other materials such as paint, plastic, concrete or other metals.
The steel products that are used in building include metal roofing, steel beams, reinforcing steel and mounting brackets.
Steel products are used in vehicles such as private cars, trucks, trains and cycles.
It can be used in infrastructure such as bridges, lighting and high voltage pylons, railings, steel safety barriers for roads and railways.
Sculptures and jewellery can also be made by using steel.
Press tools, cylinder blocks, lathes, saws and drills are some of the examples of machines and tools where steel can be used.
Steel can also be used in pipes, rollers, machines, cranes, overhead cranes, rushers and drills.
Steel can be used in lancets, hip implants, suture needles and surgical pins in medicine industry.
Steel has become an important part in our everyday use in the form of paper clips, scissors, kitchen sink units, cutlery, saucepans emergency stairways, radiators, domestic appliances, sporting equipment and computers.
Advantages of Using Steel:
Steel is the most widely used metallic construction material in the world because of its competitive price and high performance.
There will be no harmful emissions that can damage human health.
Good safety, high comfort and satisfactory sound insulation can be offered by buildings with steel frames.
Allergies and health problems can be avoided by using steel material as it does not retain damp.
Steel can be used in the food industry and healthcare where high hygiene standards are required.
Steel can withstand extreme environments, such as corrosive liquids or high heat or pressure.
Steel has a long useful life as it can be recycled and reused.
Steel products can be dismantled easily and sorted for recycling or reuse because of its magnetic properties.
Types of Steel:
Steel is a combination of iron and carbon.
Steel can be classified as steel grades depending on its composition.
Steel grade properties such as strength, corrosion resistance and workability can be taken in to account while classifying it.
The grade of steel can be found by measuring the amount of carbon and other alloys it contains, as well as the way the manufacturer processes it.
Steel types can be grade and categorized into four groups.
Carbon, Alloy, Stainless, and Tool are the four types of steel.
Carbon steels is the most popular of the four grades of steel and accounts for 90 percent of steel production.
It contain trace amounts of elements along with carbon and iron.
Low Carbon Steels/Mild Steels, Medium Carbon Steels, and High Carbon Steels are the three main subgroups depending on how much carbon is in the metal.
Low Carbon Steels/Mild Steels contains up to 0.3 percent carbon, Medium Carbon Steels contains 0.3–0.6 percent carbon, and High Carbon Steels contains more than 0.6 percent carbon.
These steels are manufactured in huge quantities since they are cheap to manufacture and strong enough to use in large-scale construction.
Alloy steels are produced by adding additional alloying elements like nickel, chromium, copper, and/or aluminum.
The strength, ductility, corrosion resistance, and machinability of steel can be enhanced by incorporating these elements.
Stainless steels contain 10 to 20 percent of chromium as their alloying element, as well as other elements such as nickel, manganese, silicon and carbon.
These steels are safe to use in outside construction as they have remarkably high corrosion resistance and an increased ability to withstand rough weather.
Stainless steels are also widely used in electrical equipment.
Stainless steel is used by a majority of industries for their sanitary properties including medical equipment, piping, cutting tools, and food processing equipment.
Tool steels has higher heat resistance and overall durability because of the presence of tungsten, molybdenum, cobalt, and vanadium in it.
These are ideal material for most hand tools as hey retain their shape under heavy usage.
Properties of Stainless Steel:
Stainless steel has a great variety of surface finishes, ranging from matt to bright.
Stainless is a unique and aesthetic material as it can be embossed or tinted.
Architects often use stainless steel for building envelopes, interior design and street furniture.
Stainless steel exhibit strong mechanical properties at ambient temperatures as compared to other materials.
It can be used in difficult metal forming modes such as deep stamping, flat bending, extrusion, etc as it combines ductility, elasticity and hardness.
Resistance to heavy wear like friction, abrasion, impact, elasticity, etc. can be offered.
Good mechanical behavior can also be offered at both low and high temperatures.
Stainless steel is the best fire resistance among all metallic materials when used in structural applications.
It has a critical temperature above 800 degree centigrade and is ranked A2s1d0 for fire resistance with no toxic fume emissivity.
Stainless steel is continuously protected by a passive layer of chromium oxide with a minimum chromium content of 10.5 percent. This protective layer is formed naturally on the surface because of the reaction of the chromium with oxygen from air or water.
It regenerates itself if the surface is scratched which give stainless steels their corrosion resistance.
Cleaning products such as detergents and soap powders are sufficient to clean stainless steel products as these are easy to clean and do not damage the surface.
The requirements of decoration and cooking utensils that require frequent and effective washing is met by stainless steel.
Stainless steel is ideal to be used on building applications those are exposed to adverse weather, such as facades, roofs, rainwater recovery systems and domestic water pipes as it is environmentally neutral and inert when comes in contact with elements such as water and it does not leach compounds that might modify their composition.
Uses of Common Stainless Steel Products:
Stainless Steel is an ideal material for a wide range of applications because of its strength, resistance to corrosion and low maintenance
Generally, stainless steel is used for applications that requires the unique properties of steel along with resistance to corrosion.
This alloy can be milled into coils, sheets, plates, bars, wire, and tubing for use in industrial and domestic settings..
Stainless steel is an essential part of modern life that can be used for the smallest zipper to the largest skyscraper
Stainless steel is used in the kitchen accessories, cutlery and cookware.
It is used in surgical tools and medical equipment such as Hemostats, Surgical implants and Temporary crowns (dentistry)
Bridges, Monuments and sculptures and Airport roofs are made with stainless steel.
Automotive and aerospace applications such as Auto bodies, Rail cars and Aircraft uses stainless steel.
Architecture and Construction:
Stainless steel is now commonly used in modern construction due to its strength, flexibility and resistance to corrosion.
It can be used in the interiors in the form of handrails, counter tops, backsplashes and more as well as in the exterior cladding for large high impact buildings.
Stainless steel is featured prominently in high-profile modern architecture as it is easily welded, has an attractive finish and is low maintenance.
Stainless steel in a polished or grain finish can help reducing energy consumption as it can bring natural light into the building,
Automotive and Transportation:
Stainless steel was first used in the automotive industry by the Ford Motor Company to make various concept cars in the 1930s.
The use of stainless steel in the automotive industry is increasing now a days.
Manufacturers are using stainless steel in structural components too in addition to car exhaust systems, trim and grills because of new emission reduction standards and environmental concerns.
Stainless steel can be used in all forms of transportation including road tankers, ship containers and refuse vehicles.
Transportation of chemicals, liquids and food products can be done by using stainless steel.
Fuel costs can be saved by allowing for thinner containers, because of its strength.
Cleaning and maintenance costs can be reduced because of its corrosion resistance property.
Stainless steel can be used in the construction of surgical and dental instruments, kidney dishes and operating tables, as well as other medical equipment such as cannulas, steam sterilizers and MRI scanners as it is easily sterilized and resistant to corrosion.
Stainless steel is ideal for hygienic environments
Stainless steel can be used in surgical implants, as well as replacement joints such as artificial hips.
Broken bones can be fixed in place by using stainless steel pins and plates.
Energy and Heavy Industries:
Special grades of stainless steel with enhanced resistance to corrosion over a wider range of temperatures is used in chemical, oil and gas industries.
High-grade stainless steel is used in the construction of storage tanks, pipes, valves and other components.
Super duplex steel is often preferred due to its high strength.
It can be produced in large sheets to minimize welding and maximize structural integrity.
The need for extra structural support and foundations can be reduced because of its higher strength, resulting in a reduction in construction costs.
Off-shore oil rigs can use stainless steel as crude oil is extremely corrosive.
High alloyed steel ae used in modern rigs which is tough and lightweight.
Stainless steel components are also used in renewable energy technologies including solar, geothermal, hydro and wind power as it is able to withstand the rigors of highly corrosive sea water environments.
Food and Catering:
Less ductile grades of steel are used to make kitchen accessories like knife blades with sharp edges.
More ductile grades of steel are used for items such as cookers, grills, sinks and saucepans that have to be molded into shape.
Stainless steel can also be used as a finish for refrigerators, freezers, dishwashers and countertops.
Stainless steel can be used for production and storage of food as the flavor of the food does not get affected by it.
Stainless steel container can be used for some storing acidic foods, like orange juice because of its corrosion resistance property.
Also stainless steel can be easily cleaned by keeping undesirable germs at bay.
Stainless steel is also important in the production of ice cream as strong anti-bacteriological cleaning products are allowed to be used.
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