Stainless steel is a material that is highly durable and easy to clean. It is used in a number of industries, including transportation, energy, and medicine. It is also recyclable and environmentally friendly.
Stainless steel is an iron alloy that has a high chromium content. This makes it resistant to corrosion. There are other elements added to stainless steel to improve its mechanical properties. These include nickel, nitrogen, and molybdenum. These are often used for increasing hardness or creep resistance.
There are four grades of stainless steel. The grades are based on the metallographic and functional characteristics of the material. These grades are then divided into the four families and the four classifications.
The largest group of stainless steels is the austenitic family. This type of steel has a microstructure that imparts good formability and high temperature stability. It also has low levels of carbon, making it highly resistant to corrosion.
In addition to its strong resistance to corrosion, stainless steel is aesthetically appealing. It has an attractive luster and is easy to clean. It is also hygienic and does not stain. It is commonly used in surgical implants and hemostats. It is also used for construction materials and major appliances.
Unlike iron, stainless steel does not stain when rusting. This is because it builds a chromium oxide film on its surface. This film is invisible, but tightly adheres to the steel. When exposed to oxygen, the oxide film self-repairs. This protects the metal in a wide variety of corrosive environments.