The unique advantages of stainless steel for a wide variety of applications. Stainless steel competes with carbon steels supplied with protective coatings, as well as other metals such as aluminium, brass and bronze. The success of stainless steel is based on the fact that it has one more unique advantage. The chromium in the stainless steel has a great affinity for oxygen and will form on the surface of the steel at a molecular level a film of chromium oxide.
Stainless steel can be selected for use compared to other materials for a number of different reasons, not just for its resistance to corrosion. These include its aesthetic qualities: it can be polished to a satin or mirror finish.
ƒ “Dry Corrosion” occurs to steel at higher temperatures where it oxidises or scales up. Stainless steel is far more resistant to this than ordinary carbon steel and grades such as 310 (25% chromium 20% nickel) were specifically developed for use at high temperatures.
ƒ Non-contamination of the liquids stainless comes into contact with because there is no coating to break down and dissolve.
ƒ Weight savings: as thinner sections can be used, more innovative design structures can be used, with cost savings on foundations and platform weights.
ƒ Many anti-corrosion coatings are fire hazards or the materials themselves have a low melting point.
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