This material is an admixture, which contains iron, composed of two, maybe more chemical components. It has a vast application scope. Containing chrome, which makes generally 12-20 % of admixture, it is highly rust-resistant. The number of stainless steels established as model alloy is above fifty-seven. But there exist some producers that make proprietary alloy. And all these kinds have various applications: bulk material handle facilities, exterior and roof constrution, vehicle elements (tail-pipe, trimming, ornamentary, motor, chassis, fuel line tubes), chemical factories (scrubber, heat exchanger), paper manufactury, oil refine, water-supply pipes, shipbuild industry, sports products, transports (railing vehicles), etc.

Approximately two hundred tons of nickel, that contain rustproof steel get consumed in food processing industries in North America. It has a wide application in food-processing industry, storage, cook as well as service areas. Processing of drinkings like milk, wine, beer, fruit juices is realized in apparatus out of this material. Cooking and pasteurizing apparatus also contain this material. It is advantageous as makes clean process easy, it has corrosion resistance, it is durable and econom, protects flavors and sanitarily designed. A total of 1.514.222 tons of the material was reported by the U.S. Commerce Department to be shipped in 1992.

Clasification of stainless steel types depends on its micro structure. Austenite steel contains at least six % nickel, austenitic carbon with top centered, cube-structured iron. It is highly corrosion-resistant and possesses great plasticity, which enables the substance to be bent without breakage.

Ferrite steel has got body centered, cubic-like structure, it is more corrosion-resistant compared to the austenite type and there is a considerable difficulty welding it.  

Martensite steel contains needle-structured iron.

Duplex steel contains ferritic and austenitic components equally, it is more resistant towards pitting and cleft corrosions. Besides, they are highly crack resistant owing to chlorous stress. These types are far stronger than the regular austenites. Consequently, it is vastly applied in chemical industries, gas process and paper industries, sea-water pipe installation.

Raw materials

Stainless steel contains such main components existing in earth as chrome, iron ores, silicone, carbone, azote, manganese. Each of these elements is responsible for a property. For instance, azote provides extensile features making admixture ductile, more rust resistant, thus enabling it to be used in duplexed steel.

Fabrication of stainless steel

This includes a number of operations. Melting steel is the first process, then it has to be cast in solid forms. In the aftermath of a number of formation stages steel gets thermal processing, after cleaning and polishing it gains its final required form. Then after packaging it is delivered to producers, and they make the shape they desire by welding and joining steels.

Melt and cast processes

Raw stuff is melt in an electrical fire-box within 8-12 hours under intense heat. Next the melted steel gets casted in semi finished forms. They may be rectangles of bloom, quadtrate or circular billets as thick as 3.8 cm, tubes, rods etc.

Formation

Semi finished steels are shaped into forms. So they have to pass through heat rolling, at this point steel gets heat processing. Bloom and billet forms turn into bars and wires, slab forms turn into plates, sheets or strips. Bars appear in forms of circles, quadrates, or may be octagonal or hexagonal with 63 cm sizes (0.25 inches). Wires normally be of 1.27 cm. (0.5 inches) in diameters or sizes. Plates possess thickness of 47 cm. (0.1875 inches) and more than 25.4 cm. (10 inches) width. Strips have got no more than 47 cm. (0.1875 inches) thickness and 61 cm. (24 inches) width. Sheets have no more than 47 cm. (0.1875 inches) thickness and over 61 cm. (24 inches) width.

Heat processing

When rust proof steel has already been formed, it has to pass scorching stage, which implies heating and cooling steel in specific circumstances to ease inner stress and alleviate the material. In certain cases steel is heat processed to gain greater strength. But this process, called age-hardening, must be carefully controlled because in case of the slightest change in proper heat, duration, cool speed has a serious impact on the material features. Low scorching temperature producess great strength and little fracturing stability, whereas high-temperature scorching delivers low strength, higher toughness. Heat grade to come to scorching point (900-1000 Fahrenheit, 482-537 C◦) has no effect on material features, but cooling has. Quenching, i.e. swift chilling increases stability without affecting strength significantly. A process like this is water quench (35 degrees F. Or 1.6 C◦), ice water bathing at least 2 hours. Steel type determines thermo processing method. Austenite steel is exposed to more than 1900 degrees F. (1037 C◦) and duration depends on the material thickness. Water quench is suitable for dense section, while air cooling or blowing is suitable for slim section. In case of excessively slow cooling, carbide precipitations may happen. This can be solved through heat stabilizing. This heat processing implies holding steel at 1500-1600 degrees F. or 815-871 C◦ for some hours. It is adviseable to clean part faces off pollutants prior to thermo processing to gain perfect results.

Descaling

Anneal process forms scales on steels. Scales are possible to remove through some methods. Pickling is a method, that descales the material through nitric-hydrofluoric acid bathing. Electro-cleaning method implies applying electrical power to the face by kathode and phosphorus acids to eliminate scales. Anneal and descale processes are realized at diverse steps, it depends on the processed steel type. Bars and wires pass through more formation stages (heat rolling, forging, extrusion) prior to anneal and descale stages. Sheets and strips pass through anneal and descale processes in the aftermath of thermal roll. When cold roll process is realized, which means going into lower teperatures, sheets and strips pass through anneal and descale processes one more time. The finishing treatment is achieved through cold roll process.

Cutting

Cutting is performed to gain the required blank shapes, sizes for piece trimming with its final sizes. There are various modes to carry out mechanical cutting, such as direct shear through guillotine blades, circle shear through round blades in horizontal and vertical positions, sawing through speedy steel knives, blanking, which carries out punching shapes through a metal punch and die, nibbling which is suitable for any rough shape. It is a method, through which a number of overlaying holes. Cutting may be accomplished by flame method. This method realizes cutting rapidly and cleanly by flame firing torches through oxygen, propane and iron-powder. Plazma jet-cutting allows making cut by a little nozzle through ionized gas-column and electrical arc. Material gets melted at an intense temerature produced in the result of gas.

Finishing

Face finishing is one of the essential specifications for stainless steels and provide a proper look for the product. Face-finished steel is easy to be cleaned and this is significant in terms of hygiene. Finished surface ensures higher corrosion stability as well. Face finishing is obtained through certain operations and there exist various methods to accomplish it. Dull finish is ensured by hot roll, anneal and descale processes. Bright finishing is gained first through hot, next cold rollings. High reflective finishing is provided through cold rolling combined with anneal process in the controlled-atmosphere fire box, polishing by abrasive materials or burnishing already polished facing. In grind or polish processes grind wheel or abrasive belt is usually applied. Burnishing is accomplished through a cloth wheel together with cut compounds, that contain abrasives in forms of bars and sticks. Tumbling is another finish method, that pushes tumbling unit motion against faces of pieces. Others are dry and wet etchings, that use acid solution, and face dulling, which is accomplished by sand blasting, wire brush and pickling processes.

Manufactury at fabricators

When the material is delivered to its end-users, still some necessary operations have to be accomplished. Roll formation, pressing, forging, press-drawing, extruding are the operations needed for shaping the steel finally. A series of operations allow material joining. Weld process is a vastly used one, which can be of fused and resistant types. In case of fusion weld, temperature is produced by electrical arc strike in the midst of electrodes and welding stuff. In case of resistant weld, joining is accomplished by pressure and temperature combination. Electrode applies pressure, and temperature is created as a result of persistence towards electrical power through welding sections. When part weld is accomplished, the spot around weld has to be cleaned.

Controlling the material performance. 

Stainless steel has to correspond to special standards established by American Society of testing and Material (ASTM), as well as certain technical features like stability and corrosion persistence. Control of quality can be realized by the help of metallography as well.

Future.

Stainless steel material is in its ongoing extension of scopes. Clean Air Act has specified particular standards and in order to correspond them most coal-driven factories install stack lines out of stainless steel. This material is widely used for top-quality home fireplaces, water pipes in nuclear-power stations, tanks of ballast types, fire suppressing system, pliable pipes to distribute oil and gas, helio-stats in solar power factories. Ecological legislations oblige petro chemical and refinary industry into recycling water in close system instead of just discharging it. Recycling water brings about the increasing level of chlorous, which in its turn causes pitting corrosion. Solution to this trouble can be duplexed stainless steel. Producers are on their constant go to develop corrosion persistent steel types.

A producer in automobile industry has assessed that at least 45 kg more steel will be used for each vehicle by the end of the century. Innovative scopes hold such applications as metal substrate of catalytic converter, elements for air-bags, compound bumper, fuel-lines, fuel appliance pieces suitable for alternative fuels, braking line, long-lasting exhausting system. 

In accordance with improvement of treatment technologies, super austenite stainless steel, which contains 0.5 % azote, is developing. This material has a vast application in paper bleaching factories, marine water and phosphorus-acid treatment system, scrubber, off-shore platform etc. Many producers are taking this material into a market in form of sheets and plates. Some innovative compounds are also improved like ferrite iron-based admixture, which contains 8-12 % Cr proper in magnet application and austenite steel, which contains additional sulfur contents and is applied in semiconductor devices and pharmaceutical devices.

Researchers go on developping new and innovative compositions. One of them invented by the Japanese is a type of corrosion persistent steel displaying shaped-memory effects. It regains its primary form while heated and getting plastical deformity. It can be applied in assembly elements: pipe fitting, clip, fastener, clamp, as well as heat sensoring: circuit breaker, fire alarm. Recentlly developed martensite steel is suitable for pricise minitures, impliment roll-cntact bearing. This material possesses low vibrate level, is more lasting and provides more preferable face finishing than traditional steels.