The Strengths And Weaknesses Of Stainless Steel
When stainless steel was initially discovered in the early 1900’s, it was known originally as “rustless steel,” for the obvious reason that it did not seem to rust. Indeed, being an alloy of iron, chromium, nickel, and other elements, stainless steel possesses a host of unique properties that make it highly useful in a variety of contexts and industries, ranging from construction to jewelry-making.
However, stainless steel is not invincible. Here, we will briefly run through some of the strengths and weaknesses of this valuable material, and hopefully give some insight into how it should be used for those looking to buy sheet metal supplies in Philadelphia.
The Advantages of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel has a number of properties that make it extremely useful. Because of the way in which the different metals within it interact with one another, stainless steel is highly resistant to oxidation, which is a complicated way of saying that it does not rust easily, and is capable of remaining in mint condition for many years. This makes stainless steel an ideal material for kitchens and kitchen appliances such as pots and pans, as it is capable of interacting with foods and liquids without developing rust.
Its resistance to oxidation, as well as its hardness, also makes stainless steel indispensable to the surgical industry, as it can be used to make surgical instruments that must remain absolutely free of rust and stains in order to be usable on patients.
Further, stainless steel has a very high melting point, making it valuable in innumerable fields related to construction and machine-building. Stainless steel also has a very high pressure point, making it vital in manufacturing storage containers.
Some Disadvantages of Stainless Steel
While its high melting point can be a great advantage in some ways, this quality of stainless steel also makes difficult to use in welding, and consequently, the material has limits in how it can be used in construction.
Stainless steel is also not the most cost-efficient metal. Being difficult to manufacture, stainless steel often comes with a steep price tag, which is the primary reason why it is so rarely utilized in certain industries, such as the automotive industry. Kitchen appliances made from stainless steel can be quite expensive as well.
Another downside, while less consequential than the aforementioned issues, is that stainless steel shows dirt very easily. While the cleaning process itself is not difficult, stainless steel will often show the smallest smudge or fingerprint, sometimes contributing to a perpetually grimy look in some kitchens.