As you know, stainless steel has been around for quite some time. Various industries use stainless steel to build memorials, skyscrapers, and even kitchen utensils since the ‘90s. You might not know it, but you are probably surrounded by stainless steel products in your home, like pen springs, watches, saucepans, and handrails. However, did you ever think about what is so unique about this material? Here are some interesting facts about stainless steel:
It is resistant to corrosion
As mentioned before, stainless steel plays an important role in many industries, but it has one of the most important roles in metallurgy. It is corrosion resistant steel, and it is created by mixing carbon and iron with chromium. Since around 10 or 20 percent of chromium is added, it makes this metal alloy highly resistant to corrosion. Also, it is acid resistant steel and it is quite resistant to high temperatures.
It is the most recycled material in the world
Approximately 88 percent of the entire steel is recycled. And it might be surprising, but two, out of three tons of new steel come from the old steel that is recycled. The steel industry also recycles steel byproducts, like steelmaking slags, mill scale, and processing liquids. The dust and sludge from the steelmaking process can also be used to make other metals, like zinc.
It can be made into soap
Many companies manufacture stainless steel soap, which is basically a piece of the metal shaped into a bar of soap. While it does not kill bacteria or germs, it can help neutralize strong odors on the hands. You can simply rub the metal bar on your hands after working with fish, onions, or garlic. The smell will instantly disappear. Why does this happen? Well, some researchers believe that it is because the metal binds the sulfur elements in different materials, which in fact, reduces odor.
It can expand and contract
Stainless steel, also known as inox, is quite valuable in the aerospace and nuclear industries since it has high-temperature oxidation resistance. According to the experts from Virgamet.com, while it does have a higher resistance than other materials, it still expands and contracts when the temperature changes. Hence, when creating a steel frame for a building, construction companies need to think about thermal expansion. For example, the Eiffel Tower is 984 feet tall during the summer season, however, during winter, it is 6 inches shorter.
It can be woven and worn
Since this metal is ductile, it can be made into a thin wire without it losing its toughness. Most companies produce inox mesh that remains tough but is fine enough to be worn. It is also radiation and thermal resistant, so it is often used in textile and electrical industries. One interesting thing is that it is often used for producing touchscreen gloves since the touchscreens will detect the presence of an object that is electrically conductive. They can conduct electricity that mimics the finger’s electrical current.
Stainless steel has unique properties which make it perfect for various industries and uses. If your next project involves stainless steel, make sure that you check all its alloys and do not forget that when the temperature changes, it will change as well!