History of stainless steel
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History of stainless steel

Views: 0     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2021-05-31      Origin: Site

Unlike iron, which has been in use for more than a thousand years, stainless steel is a relative newcomer to materials science, first produced only 100 years ago. This may seem hard to believe at first, given the near-ubiquity of metals in modern life, but it's just a testament to how important a breakthrough stainless steel is. The metal has revolutionized the modern world, with applications in almost every area of manufacturing, from healthcare and catering equipment to the automotive and construction industries. In addition, it outperforms more traditional competing materials such as copper, aluminum, and carbon steel. Now, let's take a look at the history of stainless steel.


Here is the content list:

l  The invention of stainless steel

l  A milestone in the history of stainless steel


The invention of stainless steel

In 1913, Harry Brearley of Sheffield, England, discovered "non-rusting" steel. Despite many previous attempts, Brearley is credited with inventing the first true stainless steel with a chromium content of 12.8%. He added chromium to molten iron to produce a metal that would not rust. Chromium is a key ingredient because it is resistant to corrosion. After this discovery, Sheffield itself became synonymous with steel and metallurgy.


Brearley made the discovery by accident while solving the corrosion problem on the inside surface of gun barrels for the British Army at the start of World War I.


After the initial discovery, further improvements in stainless steel occurred at a fairly rapid rate. In 1919, Elwood Haynes received a patent for martensitic stainless steel; Premature-hardened stainless steel was first discovered by William J. Kroll of Luxembourg in 1929; Duplex stainless steel was produced for the first time in 1930 at Avesta Steel Works in Sweden.


A milestone in the history of stainless steel

Over the years, people have come to recognize the remarkable properties of stainless steel. Below is a short timeline outlining some key moments in the history of stainless steel.


l  Between 1919 and 1923, the use of stainless steel was adapted to the manufacture of Sheffield surgical scalpels, tools and cutlery.

l  In the early 1920s, various combinations of chromium and nickel were tested. For stainless steel, "18/8" indicates the percentage of chromium and nickel in the steel.

l  In 1925, stainless steel tanks were used to store nitric acid, thus demonstrating the corrosion resistance of this unique metal.

l  In 1926, the first surgical implants made of stainless steel were performed.

l  In 1928, the first stainless steel fermenter was used to brew beer, proving the hygienic properties of stainless steel. Since then, the metal has been widely used in the food and beverage industry.

l  In the 1930s, the first stainless steel trains were built in the United States.

l  In 1931, the first stainless steel airplane was born.

l  By 1935, stainless steel kitchen sinks were in widespread use.

l  The Type 430 stainless steel (ferritic chrome) is used to manufacture tape recorders with a diameter of 0.1mm.

l  The first stainless steel underwater television camera was introduced in 1954.

l  The first tidal power station with stainless steel turbine blades was built in France in 1966.

l  In the 1980s, stainless steel was used to build the world's longest movable flood barrier on the River Thames.

l  In 2010, global production of stainless steel reached 31 million tons.

l  In 2010, China produced about 11 million stainless steel drum washing machines.


In the last 100 years, about 100 grades of stainless steel have been discovered and put on the market. These grades are divided into four major groups, namely martensite, ferrite, austenite, and diphase. Ferritic and martensitic stainless steels are magnetic, whereas austenitic stainless steels are non-magnetic. They also add different amounts of other alloying metals, such as nickel, titanium and copper. Carbon and nitrogen are also added to enhance the overall characteristics of stainless steel.


Today, China is the world's largest producer of stainless steel. The growth of stainless steel is likely to increase as the sustainability benefits of stainless steel become more widely known. Researchers have even found that coating stainless steel with a kind of bio adhesive can make it antibacterial, adding to its many benefits. Therefore, this innovative material has the potential to extend its applications into the next century and beyond.



C.J.M. Stainless Steel Group Ltd  is a supplier and distributor of stainless steel, nickel, steel, aluminum, titanium, brass and bronze with world class production and quality control.







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