Stainless steel is in fact an iron alloy with a minimum of 10.50% chrome. The chrome produces a thin oxide layer on the metal’s surface, which prevents corrosion. Increasing the amount of chrome increases protection against corrosion.
- Alloy - a mixture of two or more chemical elements, when at least one of them is a metallic element.
- Chrome - a strong, gray, shiny metal.
- Oxide - a compound of an element or other substance with oxygen.
- Corrosion - a chemical process that is destructive to a certain substance, stemming from the substance’s exposure to the environment or its contact with another substance (such as oxygen).
Other ingredients are added as well, in order to enhance the alloy’s structure and properties.
The main requirement from stainless steel is resistance to corrosion for a particular application or environment. When selecting a certain type of stainless steel, it must first meet the requirements of resistance to corrosion. Additional mechanical or physical properties will also need to be taken into account in order to fulfill the application’s specifications.