It is always a happy time to know that after a long day of work, you can come back home with a hot dinner serving on the table. We take out the stainless bowls and stainless fork and start to enjoy the delicacy. But how well do we know about stainless steel?
So what is stainless steel? Firstly, we all know that the irons are a very important metal for human society. Without irons, there will be no industrialization. Irons help us build the structure of the house. Almost every little thing we come across in our daily life probably have a trace of Irons in it. Even our very own blood cells are made of irons. However, there is a significant down of the irons. The irons have a strong proclivity to react with the oxygen. As a result, the metal that helps us build all of the important products start to turn into rust. This can undo all the effort that people pour into building something important. Fortunately, humans have come up with a brilliant idea to deal with this situation. They have successfully found a way to modify the iron, that is where the stainless steels come in. The stainless steels are alloy, which means there are more than one metal in it. The metal like chromium and nickel are added to the alloy to give the stainless steel the ability to resist against rusting. This has also increased the heat-resisting ability of the stainless steel.
Now we know the chromium inside the stainless can help protect the stainless steel from rusting. Because the chromium will form a passive film on the surface of the stainless steel. This will help protect the stainless steel against the corrosion. Depending on the crystalline structure, the stainless steel can be divided into five main groups.
The majority of the stainless steel we see today belongs to this type. They possess an austenitic microstructure, which is a face-centered cubic crystal structure. The austenitic stainless steel can be further divided into the 200 series and the 300 series. One of the most known type is the 304 stainless from the 300 series.
● Ferritic stainless steels
Ferritic stainless steels is the type of stainless steel which possess a ferrite microstructure like carbon steel. Within the alloy, it contains between 10.5% and 27% of chromium with a small amount or no nickel. The structure of the ferritic stainless steel is a body-centered cubic crystal structure. Lack of the nickel has made this type of stainless steel a cheaper choice than the austenitic stainless steel.
● Duplex stainless steel
This is the type of stainless steel which combines the traits from the austenitic and ferritic stainless steel, as it possesses the microstructure from both sides. The duplex stainless also has about twice the yield strength of the austenitic stainless steel.
● Precipitation hardening stainless steel
This type of the stainless steels has the corrosion resistance comparable to austenitic varieties, but it can precipitate hardened to even higher strengths than other martensitic grades.
● Martensitic stainless steels
This type of stainless steels offers a wide range of properties. It is mostly used as the stainless engineering steels, stainless tool steels, and creep resistant steels.
Stainless steels have the ability to fight against rusting, which has helped them become one of the most used and versatile materials in the world. In the culinary uses, the stainless steel can be made into cutlery or cookware. It can also be made as a surgical tool. In the energy and heavy industries, the stainless steels are greatly utilized due to its ability to resist the corrosion of toxic chemicals and are highly heat-resistant. In architecture, the scaffolding and the basic structure we build into the pillar or the column of the house are all made from stainless steel. Most of the manufacturing equipment are super massive and expensive, which means it will not afford constant change of the parts. The parts which are made of the stainless steel will not rust and can offer high strength against heat, corrosion, and collision. In modern industries, stainless steel is also used to build equipment like cold rolling mills, annealing line, and pickling line. There is no doubt that wherever there is a machine, there is stainless steel. As so many industries and products can benefit from adapting and incorporating stainless steel as parts of their system.
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