Stainless steel fabrication refers to the building of metal structures by the process of bending or cutting. It is one of the preferred metals used for this process due to it being resistant to stains, corrosion and rust. Structures that can rust have to be replaced or repaired frequently resulting in extra cost. Stainless steel has more chromium present than carbon steel and is a far better alternative; carbon steel rusts swiftly when exposed to oxygen or water. The rust (iron oxide) hastens corrosion by forming more rust itself. Stainless steel creates a thin layer of chromium oxide that blocks rust from reaching the internal structure of the metal. |
The Production of Stainless Steel
Steel is made of predominantly iron ore, nickel, chromium and silicon. These are melted together in a blast furnace, which takes up to 12 hours. The blend is then cast into the necessary shape, it is then heat treated, cleaned and finally polished.
Despite being designed to function for a long time (perhaps several decades) it is highly suitable for recycling. There are a number of reasons for which recycling may be necessary; it could be that the design is no longer fashionable, perhaps it needs to be replaced by new; more efficient technology, your product may have structural failings and therefore you need to dispose of it. Stainless steel products and surfaces will usually only have endured a small amount of damage and therefore will still be of high value. This ability to recycle the material easily adds to sustainable development in the world.
Architectural Uses of Steel
This material is often used for buildings and Stainless Steel fabrication for practical and artistic reasons. It was very popular in the 1920s and 1930s. Due to the toughness of the metal, buildings usually preserve their original look. Stainless steel has been used in famous buildings such as the Petronas Twin Towers and the Jin Mao Building.
It has been suggested that passivation can enhance the resistance of corrosion in stainless steel; passivation is the removal of iron from the surface of the steel, this is done by submerging the steel in an oxidant. As the top layer is removed passivation reduces the discolouration of the surface of the metal, this process does not affect the effectiveness of the steel; it is useful in creating a clean surface, necessary for painting and other processes, however if the oxidant is not removed properly corrosion may still occur in the crevices.
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