Stainless steel is practically everywhere in today’s world. Even if you’re a bit frustrated that your sleek, brand new stainless steel fridge won’t allow magnets to stick to the surface (some fridges have actually addressed this complaint), there’s no doubt that stainless steel is a useful, clean and quite versatile material. Why are we writing about stainless steel? Well, like aluminum, zinc, and magnesium, our Denver foundry also works with stainless steel to prototype parts for various production runs.
Common Applications Of Stainless Steel
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Due to the fact that stainless steel is so useful in common in today’s modern society, let’s look at a few common applications of stainless steel.
Architecture And Construction
Stainless steel really started coming into prominence during the art-deco period. If you’ve ever visited New York City, chances are that you’ve seen the Chrysler Building, which is famous for its use of stainless steel on the exterior of the building. Due to stainless steel’s strength, flexibility and stellar resistance to corrosion, it is commonly used in construction. Throughout your day-to-day life, you’ll notice stainless steel being used in the exterior cladding for large, high-impact buildings, and can also be seen in the interior of buildings in the form of handrails, countertops, backsplashes, and more.
Automotive And Transportation
Stainless steel was first used in the automotive industry back in the 1930s by the Ford Motor Company. Though commonly used in modern automobiles, stainless steel was first used in concept cars. Due to environmental concerns and stricter emission reduction standards these days, manufacturers are turning to stainless steel in structural components. You’ll also see stainless steel being used for car exhaust systems, trim, and grills.
Aside from personal automobiles, stainless steel is used in virtually all forms of transportation including ship containers, road tankers and refuse vehicles. The resource is excellent to transport chemicals, liquids and food products in a sanitary manner. Its high strength is a plus, allowing for thinner and lighter containers to save fuel costs. The corrosion resistance is another bonus, reducing cleaning and maintenance costs.
Ideal for hygienic environments, stainless steel is very easily sanitized. You’ll see stainless steel used in the construction of surgical equipment, dental instruments, operating tables and even MRI scanners. Interestingly enough, surgical implants also use stainless steel, and replacement joints like artificial hips also utilize this resource. In order to fix broken bones and put them back into place without fear of infection, stainless steel pins and plates are used by surgical professionals.
Energy And Heavy Industries
The chemical, oil and gas industries operate in demanding environments involving high heat and highly toxic substances. Fortunately, special grades of stainless steel have been developed for use in these industries, primarily due to stainless steel’s enhanced resistance to corrosion over a wide range of temperatures. High-grade stainless steel is a vital component in the construction of things like storage tanks, valves, pipes, and other components.
Renewable energy technologies that focus on solar, geothermal, hydro and wind power also take advantage of some of stainless steel’s properties. Seawater environments are extremely salty and therefore corrosive, and we’ve mentioned all too many times in this article, stainless steel can withstand corrosion quite well.
Food And Catering
It is common for things like kitchen accessories, cutlery, and cookware to be made of stainless steel. For instance, less ductile grades of steel are used to make knife blades with sharp edges. More ductile grades of stainless steel are used for items that are required to be molded into specific shapes such as cookers, grills, sinks, and saucepans.
As a nice bonus, since stainless steel does not affect the flavor of food, it is also ideal for food production and storage.