Stainless Steel is an important element of all of our lives, whether its used for the modern framework of skyscrapers or the zipper on your hoodie, the strength of the material which is resistant to corrosion and low maintenance makes it an ideal material to use for a wide range of things. There are 5 main uses of stainless steel which are architecture and construction, automotive and transportation, medical, energy and heavy industries and food and catering.
Heavy industries operate in demanding environments with high heat and toxicity, so special versions of stainless steel have been developed with enhanced properties. For example, although stainless steel ducting may cost a little more than aluminium, there are situations in the industrial sectors in which stainless steel is the better choice. If the air in laboratories or research facilities is of a hazardous nature, then the extreme durability and longevity of stainless steel makes it immune to the corrosive behaviour of substances such as salt. It is extremely strong and rigid making it a great choice for ductwork. It is also used for off-shore oil rigs to create both tough and lightweight rigs.
Construction and Architecture
The use of stainless steel in construction only really began in the 20’s, so compared to other materials, it is fairly new, but exceedingly effective. Stainless steel is prominent in construction, with the top of the Chrysler building famously being constructed from the strong and flexible material. Its strength, resistance to corrosion and flexibility are all components which make it a material commonly used in all sorts of constructions, including the One World Trade Center in New York.
After first being used by Ford in the 30’s, the use of stainless steel today is increasing. Previously stainless steel was favoured in the use of internal car parts, whereas now there is increasing pressure to use the material in structural components too. Aside from cars, a wide range of shipping containers and tankers contain stainless steel, and it also works effectively for the transportation of chemicals and food products, and due to the thinner material (resulting in a lighter vehicle), fuel costs can be reduced and the risk of any corrosion is greatly reduced.
As stainless steel is resistant to corrosion, it can easily be cleaned in medical environments with strong sterilizers without the material being compromised. Not only this, but it can be used for a range of medical equipment such as surgical tools, operating tables or dental instruments. Due to its strength, stainless steel is also used for implants such as artificial pins to fix broken bones.
The Food Industry
Stainless steel is utilized all across the food industry, from cutlery to work surfaces and fridges to ovens. It is the perfect storage material as it doesn’t affect the flavour of the food, and as with medical, it can be thoroughly cleaned using strong substances without the material being damaged. The good heat resistance of the material makes it perfect for kitchen environments as it can hold up in these processing and production domains.