Stainless steel is a metal which finds application across a huge array of industries. As like other materials, SS has its own set of benefits and demerits. It’s good to have some knowledge of these so as to maximize the potential and safeguard against the disadvantages of the metal. Let’s have a look at both.
Benefits of Stainless Steel
- Resistance to corrosion: This is the number-one advantage experienced by SS users across a variety of spheres, at home or in industries. All types and grades of stainless steels known to possess high resistance to corrosion. This means that it is equipped to protect not just against common corrosion consequences such as rust, but even others. For instance, the high-alloy-percentage varieties are able to hold their own against acids, alkali, chlorine etc at even very high pressure and temperature.
- Ease of fabrication: Since the SS industry is so huge across the globe, there is no dearth of fabrication methods and facilities. It can be manufactured rather easily, and lends itself well to welding and machining.
- Strength: In some types of SS, the toughness quotient can be remarkably elevated using heat treatment, making components suitable for specialized functions. In yet others, the cold work hardening properties are utilized to decrease the thickness & weight of the material.
- Aesthetic appeal: Stainless steel is practically synonymous with contemporary, chic, stylish appearances. This is the reason it is widely popular amongst home and office-owners alike, for it comes in a variety of surface finishes.
- Hygienic properties: Being non-porous, stainless steel has the unique advantage of offering a highly hygienic surface which can be kept sparkling clean and free of odors. This makes it the ideal material in areas like hospitals, food and pharmaceutical processing facilities and kitchens.
- Low-maintenance: Stainless steel does not stain, is fairly tough, resists corrosion, and can be kept shiny and attractive with very little effort-it is really quite low-maintenance.
- High and low temperature resistance: One of the chief reasons that stainless steel is so popular in food preparation areas as well as utensils and cookware, is the fact that it shows remarkable resistance to high as well as low temperatures. In industrial-grade stainless steel, there is a great degree of strength and protection from scaling displayed at massively high temperatures under cryogenic conditions.
Demerits of Stainless Steel
- High Initial Cost: On the whole, stainless steel does cost more than other comparative metals initially. This is because the technology involved to fabricate, weld and polish the metal to a superior grade involves more expense.
- Scratching & Denting: Industrial-grade stainless steel is designed to be extremely tough. When it comes to household appliances or surfaces, though, it is important to remember that SS is susceptible to both surface scratching as well as denting in case it is routinely subjected to heavy loads. By virtue of the fact that it has such a polished surface, scratches show rather easily, and over a prolonged period of time, can be quite prominent in appearance.