Stainless steel is one of the most widely used metals covering a wide range of industries where it is used. However, there are many people still unaware of why stainless steel is so popular compared to other metals. In the building and construction industry, experts acknowledge that whereas there are many metals to choose from, there are certain key factors that would make you choose a certain metal over the other depending on the industrial application. For starters, stainless steel is best known as a low-carbon steel with at least an alloying element or within the specific grades of stainless steel. These grades include 17-7 stainless, 302 stainless and 304 stainless. Even within the grades themselves, the industrial application and preference is very much different although not as extensive as when weighed against other combined metals such as brass and copper. For example, there are certain aspects that would influence a building expert to choose 302 stainless over 17-7 stainless. The great thing about stainless steel grades such as the 17-7 stainless steel is that alloyed metals tend to allow for improved machinability. Considering the industrial application of different metals, the overall amount of work required to fabricate certain metals would be different on others. It is this aspect that guides the entire process of choosing the right metals for various industrial applications.
Common Uses of Stainless Steel Compared to Other Metals
Some of the industries that utilize stainless steel grades such as the 17-7 stainless are the medical and food industries. It is also used extensively in the construction industry although its use as a building material is dependent on what other type of metal it is being compared to. In the food and medical industries, stainless steel grades, such as 302, 304 and 17-7 stainless steel are common because they can easily be cleaned and sanitized. The same cannot be said for certain metals such as copper and brass although aluminum too is a common choice kitchenware manufacture. The corrosion resistance and strength of different stainless steel grades such as 17-7 stainless steel also make them popular choices in the transport industry, engine manufacture and the manufacture of processing equipment. The ammunition industry also relies heavily on stainless steel as the base metal in the manufacture of ammunition. Perhaps it is the aesthetic appeal that mostly draws a lot of people especially in the architecture industry to steel metal. Building designers prefer stainless steel as it is able to maintain that aesthetic appeal for a long period of time compared to other metals that will show sign of wear after an extended period of exposure to oxidizing agents.
Common Stainless Steel Features
Considering that stainless steel is used in different industries, it would mean that there are certain features that make it the best metal for such use. To start with, there is the issue of strength. Steels are considered to be much heavier to metals such as aluminum. However, this strength is especially on the aspect of the ratio of strength to the metal density. This feature is the reason why stainless steel is of specific focus for experts in the aviation industry. Another aspect that industrial experts consider in stainless steel is the corrosion resistance. Even if stainless steel is quite appealing in terms of corrosion resistance, it will still corrode when exposed to an oxidizing agent. This is the reason why it is not the best metal for outdoors construction unless you are evaluating other factors other than corrosion. However, there are several ways that you can reduce the rate of corrosion. The steel can be treated, properly applied or machined to improve its resistance to corrosion. Extensive corrosion of the metal reduces the aesthetic appeal while at the same time increasing the stress on the metal which ultimately affect its strength. With so many industrial applications, it is no wonder that stainless steel continue to be a popular metal compared to other available options. However, it is important to understand the features that make stainless steel the best metal for certain use and whether there is a better option when other metals are brought into the picture and analyzed under a set of parameter.