Stainless steel is a collective term for all kinds of steel resistant to corrosion, rust or staining. The steel alloy, therefore, is a steel containing 10.5% or more of chromium. In any oxidizing environment, a natural thin layer of chromium oxide forms on the steel which further protects it from corrosion. This thin film sticks tightly to the surface of the steel and is also self-repairing. In the presence of oxygen, damage from wear and tear as well cutting or machining is repaired quickly. This is due to the capability of the chromium film to self-repair. Other elements are also added to the steel to increase its formability, strength, and toughness. These include:
It is one of the most common metals Mobile TIG Welding is used on. There are different applications and uses of steel alloy and the type and grade of stainless steels are decided based on the environment and the application where it is required.
Although there are many different kinds of this ally, they all have the following properties in general.
In general, it is highly resistant to acids. However, this also depends on the type and the concentration of the acid. Any kind of steel would be damaged by hydrochloric acid. Phosphoric acid has no effect on all types of inox steel.
Resistance to Bases
The unique ally may be resistant to weak bases but is affected by stronger bases. The 300 series, for example, is resistant to weaker bases like ammonium hydroxide but may etch and crack when exposed to a stronger base like sodium hydroxide.
Inox steel is a comparatively poor conductor of electricity compared to copper.
Annealed austenitic stainless steels are not magnetic while ferritic and martensitic untainted steels are magnetic.
Resistance from corrosion makes this untainted metal ideal for use in making cutlery. Cooking utensils and household hardware all make use of this steel for the same reason. Storage tankers and other tankers used for transporting orange juice are often made of this material. It is also used extensively in commercial kitchens and food processing plants as it does not require paint and surface finishing. It can also be sterilized. Other common uses of the material include:
Surgical instruments, as well as medical equipment, are made using stainless steel due to their corrosion resistance, durability, and the fact that they can be sterilized. Surgical implants for bone reinforcement like hip sockets and cranial plates are also made from the unsullied.
Jewelry and Watches
The 316L type of stainless steel is most commonly used in jewelry and in watches. An important reason for this is that it can be refinished easily and does not turn black over time.
Some firearms use stainless steel components for a high luster finish. Other firearms like the Colt M1911 pistol can be made using only this particular metal.
The most popular grade of steel being used for 3D printing is the 316L. This metal solidifies at a fast rate making it ideal for 3D printing.