Why does Stainless Steel rust?
Stainless steel is one of the most widely used materials in the industry today. It has unique properties that make it the ideal material for certain jobs, especially in industry, construction and the home. Its benefits are obvious.
Next, we will talk about stainless steel. We will see what is in it that gives it those properties for which it is so appreciated. We will also see what benefits it offers and with what quality it is applied in different tasks.
We have known iron since ancient times. It has literally shaped our way of living and transforming the world. However, its chemical composition and properties, although they have proven to be very useful for some jobs, are not suitable enough for other uses.
However, these limitations of iron are more than overcome by the alloys of which it is a fundamental part. As iron is a highly modifiable material, it has been fused with innumerable metals, giving rise to very versatile, useful and, above all, resistant alloys (depending on what task they are used for).
One of the best known alloys for its properties, its hardness, its price and its production, is stainless steel. It is a very hard material, extremely resistant to oxidation (it is invulnerable to elements such as oxygen, or even lemon, vinegar and other organic elements); In addition, it excellently withstands extreme temperatures and is visually attractive, which encourages its use.
These exceptional properties are obtained due to its chemical composition. Iron, as we know, is the main element. But for iron to be steel, you have to add between 0.010 and 2.1% of carbon. To this is added a significant amount of chromium (between 10.5 and 12%). This element gives the resulting alloy greater hardness and a characteristic shine.
Its main property, that it is stainless, is due to a phenomenon at the molecular level called passivation. This takes place when stainless steel is exposed to air, and this reacts with chrome, forming a passivating layer that prevents corrosion. If you want to know what types of stainless steels there are, we invite you to learn more here.
As we said above, stainless steel offers specific properties that make it the ideal material for the most varied uses and jobs. Some of its most notable properties are:
Clearly, if a material bears the adjective "stainless" in its name, it is to be expected that it is extremely immune to the attack of oxidation. This is an expectation that stainless steel fully meets: it is virtually invulnerable, since its passivation layer is activated upon contact with oxygen, preventing its deterioration.
It not only repels the damage that moisture can cause. It is also resistant to organic materials that have a stronger oxidizing effect. Let's think, for example, of milk, or lemon, or natural secretions.
Stainless steel can just as well be used in a refrigerator as it is in a busy restaurant kitchen. Its molecular structure allows it to maintain its physical properties in the face of extreme cold (it does not become brittle) or in the face of extreme heat (it does not deform).
There's a reason good cookware like pots, pans, and baking sheets are made from stainless steel: It heats easily and evenly transfers the heat it receives.
Despite being hard and resistant, stainless steel can be cut relatively easily. Furthermore, depending on the type of stainless steel, it has a considerably high degree of weldability. It can also be folded and given the shape required, depending on the purpose for which it is intended.
Stainless steel is one of the few materials that can be left outdoors with the certainty that it will not deteriorate easily. A structure made with this element has an implicit guarantee that it will remain there for a long time.
Unlike other types of steel (such as galvanized) or iron, stainless steel has a particularly high hardness. It can be used in jobs where you work with humidity and are exposed to sudden shocks.
Being stainless, and being a material resistant to high temperatures, it can be cleaned and exposed to extreme heat to sterilize it completely. For this reason, it is a highly appreciated material in the health and food sector.
It is very nice to see a material that, despite the passage of time and weather conditions, remains unchanged and without any sign of deterioration. The metallic color that chrome provides is visually attractive, which makes stainless steel ideal for the manufacture of doors, frames, windows, railings, etc.
Given its great versatility, this type of steel lends itself to an amazing number of uses. It is easily adaptable for the most dissimilar jobs, showing an exceptional quality for all of them that hardly any other type of material could meet.
Mainly for the design of gates, facades, railings, and window frames, it is ideal. It can be exposed to inclement weather, both humidity and direct sun. But its application is not limited to that.
Given its aesthetic characteristics, it can be used in cladding facades, thus offering a sensation of impressive hardness, gloss and durability.
Indoors, where humidity is always present, such as in the kitchen and bathroom, it turns out to be a highly desirable material. Think, for example, of tables, chairs, or railings and frames for sliding doors.
The development of health activities requires a highly hygienized environment. The counters, the trays, the instruments that are usually used in a hospital must always stand out for their level of asepsis. That is why this material, due to its characteristics, offers highly appreciated properties in such spaces.
As mentioned above, organic elements tend to deteriorate the elements with which they come into contact. Stainless steel is very resistant to such deterioration, which is why it is desired in the food industry. Conveyor belts, storage tanks, kitchen implements, counters are made of this material.
Many of the products offered by the industry are designed for rough use in everyday life. That is why they appeal to the use of stainless steel for the manufacture of the most varied implements. It is highly appreciated in the manufacture of pipes, intended for the conduction of highly corrosive elements.
At Perez Precision Works we have 20 years of experience in handling steel. We are benchmarks in the metalworking industry. We manufacture the stainless steel product you need. You can safely trust us with your project.
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