What Is Stainless Steel (and Why Should You Use It)?

Did you know steel is one of the most sustainable materials used in buildings worldwide? Steel is everywhere and in millions of everyday items. Many people have an entire kitchen suite of appliances made from stainless steel.

Steel itself doesn’t come out of the ground as such, but it’s made from one of the most abundant elements on earth – iron.

What is stainless steel? Keep reading, and we’ll explore that more in this guide to stainless steel and why you should use it.

What Is Stainless Steel?

A combination of iron and small amounts of carbon make steel. Add in some chromium, and you get stainless steel. The chemical recipe varies depending on the type of steel.

What’s special about stainless steel? It doesn’t rust or “stain.”

When oxygen meets plain steel it creates rust.┬áRust is the enemy of steel because it’s a chemical reaction that causes corrosion. Corrosion weakens the structural integrity of the steel.

Stainless steel has many uses from appliances to medical devices. Some of those devices are implanted inside the human body because the steel is biocompatible.

Types of Stainless Steel in Manufacturing

There are many types of stainless steel used in manufacturing components of all types. How do you know which one to use? This service is a great example of a company that produces prototypes in different types of steel.

The company works with you from start to finish in the manufacturing process. Some of the types of steel used in finished components include but aren’t limited to:

  • 316L
  • S136
  • 303
  • 304

Why all the different types of steel? An excellent question that brings us to our next point…

Marine Applications

If you’re manufacturing a component with a marine application, you need steel that’s resistant to saltwater. Type 316L is one such steel. This type of stainless steel is one of the most corrosion-resistant because it’s low in carbon.

Boat propeller shafts, deck components, and marine fittings are examples of marine applications.

Manufacturing Applications

One of the most common types of steel in manufacturing is type 304 stainless steel. It’s tough and hard, making it difficult to work with, but the finished product is stronger than with other types of steel.

Food processing equipment, kitchen cutlery, and kitchen appliances come from 304 steel. It’s also found in automotive and aerospace applications.

Type 303 stainless steel has a high sulfur content. It’s soft, non-magnetic, and resistant to heat during the machining process. This makes it a great metal for Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) machining processes.

Nuts, bolts, screws, gears, shafts, and bushings are manufacturing applications of 303 stainless steel.

Stainless Steel and Its Many Uses

What is stainless steel? One of the most ubiquitous building and manufacturing materials in the world!

There are many benefits of stainless steel. It’s durable, beautiful, and in some cases even biocompatible. You’ll find stainless steel┬áin cars, planes, appliances, and so much more.

Looking for more articles like this? Keep reading the blog!