Stainless Steel Basics

Stainless steel is a commonly used material in many industries around the world. It is popular because of its superior corrosion resistance and visual appearance.

Stainless steels are iron alloys with a minimum of 10.5% chromium. Other alloying elements (e.g molybdenum, nickel, copper) are added to enhance the structure and properties such as strength, formability and cryogenic toughness.

“Stainless” is a term coined early in the development of steels for cutlery applications. It was adopted as a generic name and it now covers a wide range of steel types and grades.

The selection of a particular type and grade must initially meet the corrosion resistance requirements. In different grades the corrosion resistance improves as the chromium content increases. Additional mechanical or physical properties also need to be considered to achieve overall service performance requirements.

Unfortunately harsh environments and coastal climates rapidly deteriorate stainless steel.

Off the shelf material, as the name suggests, will stain-LESS – it is not stain-PROOF.

ElectroRefinement™ (electropolishing) is the treatment of choice to prevent corrosion.

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