In our modern day world stainless steel is everywhere. From contemporary buildings to sleek kitchens, from the cutlery that we eat our food with, to the furniture that we sit on, stainless steel is used in countless items, designs and structures. So why is it so popular?
It has amazing properties
Stainless steel is made predominantly from iron ore, chromium, silicon and nickel, all of which are melted down in a blast furnace. After approximately 12 hours the mix is poured and cast into just about any size or shape, from flat sheets used in construction, through to ornate structures. The finished article is a lightweight, hardy piece of material that won’t rust, corrode and is resistant to stains.
The word ‘fabrication’ refers to the bending or cutting of components such as stainless steel and turning them into structures or crafting them into objects. In days gone by, this was all done by hand using heat and plenty of ‘elbow grease’. However nowadays much of it is done with computerised precision laser-cutting equipment. Virtual technology allows metals to be cut to exacting measurements and shapes. As a result more ornate objects can easily be crafted in a relatively short space of time.
Perhaps one of the best things about stainless steel is that it has excellent recycling properties. Steel that’s no longer needed can be collected together and melted down to form new components. Tests have shown that this can be done time and time again without altering any of the properties of the metal. So in effect it’s a self-sustaining process, or at least it should be.
The main problem is that because stainless steel is designed to last several decades there simply isn’t enough surplus metal to keep up with present day demands. For example, according to the International Stainless Steel Forum, in 2006 alone over 28 million tonnes were produced of which 17million came from recycled steel This figure is increasing by around 5% per annum. Even if 100% of all the old and unwanted stainless steel was returned for recycling, the available material could only account for around 35% of today’s production rates. In a way, stainless steel is a victim of it’s own success.
That said, the flexibility, durability and recyclability factors of stainless steel can be matched by no other component and because of this, it’s expected to be the material of choice for many years to come.
If you have a construction project and need stock lengths of steel, or require a ‘one-off’ bespoke object then contact Metro Steel. With easy access to the Gold Coast and the Gateway Motorway we can have your item cast, made and delivered in no time at all. Contact us on 07 3204 1000 for a seriously competitive quote. Alternatively visit our website at www.metrosteel.com.au for further information on all our products and services.