Stainless steel has been an essential part of our everyday lives for the best part of a century. From the smallest zip to the largest skyscraper, it’s everywhere. While its strength, low maintenance, and resistance to corrosion are ideal for a wide variety of components and structures, perhaps the most important feature of stainless steel is that it’s 100% recyclable.
Given the many qualities of stainless steel, a wide spectrum of industries depend on its use. In many cases stainless steel is simply the most effective solution. With this in mind, let’s take a look at 5 of the most common uses of stainless steel.
Construction and architecture
Where would the iconic Chrysler Building be without stainless steel? During the art deco period architects loved to use steel with its sleek look and this is epitomised by the top section of this famous building that looks as modern now as it did when it was built, way back in 1929.
Nowadays of course stainless steel is commonplace in modern construction and is often used as exterior cladding for high impact buildings such as the Eurostar terminal in London’s Waterloo Station, the One World Trade Center in New York, and the Helix Bridge in Singapore. In addition, stainless steel as a material fits right in to today’s ethos of sustainability. Many modern day constructions for example contain as much as 90% recycled metal.
Transport and automotive
Did you know that the first all-stainless steel vehicles were produced by Henry Ford back in the 1930’s? Unfortunately they were deemed too expensive to mass produce and as such they remained concept cars. That said, today the amount of stainless steel use in the motor industry is increasing. Traditionally its been used in the making of exhausts, radiator grills and trims but new laws involving the reduction of emissions have driven manufactures to incorporate stainless steel into structural designs too.
Aside from aesthetics, stainless steel is perfect for the transportation of food products, liquids, and chemicals as its lower corrosion resistance reduces the need for both maintenance and cleaning costs. In addition its strength allows for thinner containers which in turn drives down the costs of fuel. It’s also used in the construction of ships, containers, road tankers, and refuse vehicles.
Stainless steel has been used in the production of medical instruments for a little over 100 years and one of the first instruments to be made in this way was the scalpel. Because steel is easily sterilised and has a resistance to corrosion, it’s the ideal material to be used in the medical and dental fields. As well as dental drills and kidney trays, it’s also used in the construction of operating tables, steam sterilisers, and even MRI scanners. Finally, stainless steel plates and pins are also used inside the body to help repair broken bones.
The oil, gas and chemical industries often operate in demanding environments incorporating high heat and highly toxic substances. Special super-steels have been developed for these types of industry and is vital in the construction of storage tanks, valves and pipework.
Stainless steel is also an essential material in the making of off-shore-oil rigs because crude oil is highly corrosive. So as well as making these structures both tough and lightweight, it also protects the structure while out at sea.
Catering and food
Ah yes…who doesn’t fawn over the sight of a sleek stainless steel kitchen? Aside from the aesthetic appearance, stainless steel counter-tops, splashbacks, and sinks are both hygienic and long lasting. The anti-corrosive properties of stainless steel makes it ideal when faced with acidic spills such as orange or vinegar but perhaps most importantly, its non-porous qualities keeps harmful germs at bay.
So there you have it…
While we can’t promise to design your dream stainless steel kitchen, we can fabricate and design a wide range of products or parts. So if you have a project and are in need of some fabrication assistance, then speak to our team at Metro Steel. Call us today on 07 3204 1000 and let’s talk about how we can help.