Stainless steel is popular because of its ability to resist rust and other forms of corrosion. It has become an indispensable part of modern industrial metal fabrication processes. Steel items are made for both construction and domestic use, and they are some of the most durable, easy to clean and affordable in the market. Here, are a few things which you may not know about the stainless manufacturing process.
The alloys used
Stainless steel is an alloy of iron and one other metal. Some of the commonly used metals in making the alloy include chromium, nickel, silicon, manganese, nitrogen and even carbon. Of the materials mentioned, chromium is the most important because it has the following characteristics:
- Resistance to corrosion
The higher the amount of chromium used in the alloy making process, the harder it will be to corrode the resulting stainless steel.
The melting process
When the elements which will be heated together with iron have been identified, the next step in the process is melting them together. The heating process will take as much as 8 to 12 hours, and by the end of the process, everything will be molten. The process which follows is known as carbon removal. The molten metal is fed to an AOD converter. The converter reduces the amount of carbon in the mixture by adding an argon-oxygen mixture. The vacuum oxygen decarburisation process is used when a shallow level of carbon content is needed in the mixture.
After the unwanted amount of carbon has been removed from the mixture, the next step is tuning. Tuning is done to change the chemical composition of the alloy formed. The process is also done to remove unwanted bits or elements and to improve the consistency of the resulting mixture. After the ideal chemical composition has been attained, the next step, which is forming, is done. Forming involves making regular and substantial shapes from the molten mixture by cooling it down inside moulds.
The final part of the process is known as hot rolling. The formed steel is passed through high rolls. This leads to the formation of the sheet-shaped stainless steel parts which are bought from the manufacturers. Other processes which are applied here with different outcomes include cold rolling and annealing. Cutting and finishing are done when the desired items have been manufactured out of the alloy. The result is all the different stainless steel objects we use in construction and the home.Share