Stainless steel shows up everywhere in our daily lives. You can find it in your car, in your home, and almost certainly in your workplace.
We use it for tools, toys, and its aesthetic value. In fact, it’s so common that it’s easy to overlook that material.
Despite its common use, many people would prove hard-pressed to name a single benefit of stainless steel. Despite the many stainless steel benefits, there is one main benefit you should know about. After a quick look at what stainless steel is, we’ll discuss that benefit.
What Is Stainless Steel?
The term stainless steel is actually a little deceptive as there are many types of stainless steel. In general, though, stainless steel is a metal alloy. Alloys are metals made by mixing one metal with other elements.
In the case of stainless steel alloys, the primary components include:
The stainless or corrosion resistance comes from the addition of chromium. Other common additions for stainless steel alloys include nickel, molybdenum, and titanium.
The different stainless steel recipes give the alloys different properties, such as extra corrosion resistance or magnetic attraction. The most common type of stainless steel is austenitic stainless steel, which isn’t hardened by heat exposure.
Main Benefit of Stainless Steel
There are many benefits of stainless steel. The most obvious benefit is the alloy’s resistance to corrosion. Yet, the main benefit of stainless steel is almost certainly its versatility.
With careful recipe selection, you can adapt stainless steel for most purposes. Austenitic stainless steel works well in situations where you need parts that can endure high heat and toxic substances. Oil and chemical companies use stainless steel for storage and processing tanks.
Stainless steel does a lot for the food industry. Unlike other metals that can change the taste of foods, stainless steel doesn’t alter the flavor of the food at all. That makes it ideal for food prep surfaces, pots, and pans.
Common Uses of Stainless Steel
The versatility of stainless means that it has an extraordinarily wide range of common uses. A few common uses of stainless steel include:
- Construction Materials
- Parts manufacturing
- Consumer products
- Healthcare Equipment
You see stainless steel in construction quite often, such as exterior cladding in commercial buildings. A wide variety of consumer products use stainless steel, such as silverware and some appliances. Many healthcare tools and equipment use stainless steel because you can sterilize the equipment with relative ease.
Using Stainless Steel
The main benefit of stainless steel, versatility, makes using stainless steel a no-brainer for many applications.
Cherry-picking features of the alloy, such as magnetic or non-magnetic, gives you the option of building parts that can meet diverse demands. If you need a heat-resistant container, there is a stainless steel alloy for that. If you need pipes with superior corrosion resistance, you can find a stainless steel alloy for that.
Curious about how other materials find their way into commercial or retail products? Head over to our business section for more articles.