If you have been reading the Inoxstyle blog for some time, you will have realized that stainless steel is a fundamental component for the construction of our showers. In this article we will explain what stainless steel is and its characteristics.
Stainless steel: history and characteristics
The term stainless steel (or Inox) generically defines ferrous alloys containing chromium, usually in quantities between 11 and 30%.
It is precisely the addition of chromium that gives the steel its stainlessness and the unique properties of resistance to corrosion. Through an invisible film that covers the surface and makes the metal resistant to corrosion. This very thin layer, if damaged, has the ability to repair itself.
History of stainless steel
The discovery of stainless steel dates back to 1872 when Woods and Clack patented a particular iron alloy which, however, was perfected and industrialized only in 1913. When Harry Brearly discovered that this particular type of steel did not rust when exposed to the atmosphere.
Initially used for cutlery and firearms, with the development of the metallurgical sector it significantly expanded its use.
Technical characteristics and particularities
Among the main characteristics of stainless steel, we find these:
- corrosion resistance;
- fire and heat resistance;
- better strength-to-weight ratio than other types of steel;
- ease of transformation in the production process to obtain various types of components and products;
- wide range of temperatures of use (from elevated temperatures to cryogenic temperatures);
- high value throughout the product life cycle.
Due to its properties, it is used in the architectural, petrochemical, food, pharmaceutical, equipment for chemical, paper and textile industries.
The chromium contained inside makes the steel stable and elastic, thus guaranteeing its ductility and malleability; its melting temperature is 1435 °C, even if, during welding, in the temperature range between 600 and 800 °C, it transforms from austenitic to ferritic.
Other binders can be nickel, copper, titanium, molybdenum and niobium. The total amount of these binders should not exceed 50%. If the percentage is higher, we no longer speak of steels but of austenitic stainless steel alloys. The variation of each single binder affects the structural, mechanical and corrosion characteristics of the steel.
316L Stainless Steel: Marine Grade
A steel formed by iron, chromium, carbon and other elements such as nickel, molybdenum is the steel known as Inox 316L. This stainless steel:
- it has excellent resistance to corrosion under tension, thanks to the high amount of nickel;
- it is resistant to acids;
- lends itself to welding;
- it does not require any treatment.
Inoxstyle for the production of garden and yacht showers uses 316L stainless steel, a metal that guarantees maximum resistance to any type of atmospheric agent and, in particular, to the corrosive force of the sea.