Sustainability, the basic definition is “avoidance of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance”. To make a sustainable future Stainless Steel plays an important role, and it’s a widely accepted and used metal and with the increased use comes the risk of scrap generated by the stainless steel industry and the residue of stainless steel products.
Now to build a sustainable future we have to use a material which is not only durable and sturdy but also sustainable and recyclable as we know that steel is not easily decomposable.
Recently a lot of focus has been laid out on sustainable options when it comes to metal selection and stainless-steel suits fit for all the needs based on the usage.
Stainless Steel is completely Recyclable
Stainless Steel is non-degradable but it is completely recyclable, hence it is recycled to produce more and more steel by the process of recycling without losing the basic characteristics and strength of the metal. Stainless Steel is one of those metal whole characteristics and strength does not get affected by the continuous recycle process.
Stainless Steel is Durable
Stainless Steel is chosen for countless application all across the world because of its mechanical and corrosion properties, which ensures durability and low maintenance cost
Stainless Steel Doesn’t Poses a Risk to Human Health
Stainless steel is easy to clean and does not breed bacteria easily. Therefore, it is widely used in the manufacturing of food and medicine. The presence of chromium in stainless steel forms a natural, passive protective layer that prevents the steel from corroding. Therefore, if the correct grade of steel is chosen for an application it poses little to no risk to the people handling it.
Stainless Steel Makes a Perfect Economical Choice
Stainless steel doesn’t only make an excellent environmental choice, but it is an excellent economical choice as well. If the correct type or grade of stainless steel is chosen for an application, it can last till the project lasts. In its lifetime, it saves maintenance costs, inspection costs, and production downtime costs. Because of its high durability properties, it can sustain in the worst of conditions and retain its original form. At the end of a project, the stainless steel also has a high scrap value and all of it is recycled.
Grades and Applications of Stainless Steel
- 200 Series – Kitchenware & utensils, decorative/Ornamental tubes, and pipes
- 300 Series – Architecture building and construction, engineering & process industry, general fabrication
- 400 Series – White goods, Kitchen appliances, automotive components, transport vehicles, railways, bus bodies
Benefits of Stainless Steel
- Corrosion Resistance – Chromium is the alloying element that imparts to Stainless Steel their corrosion-resistant qualities. Lower alloyed grades resist corrosion in atmospheric and pure water environments; high-alloyed grades can resist corrosion in most acids, alkaline solutions, and chlorine bearing environments making their properties useful in process plants.
- Fire and Heat Resistance – Special high chromium and nickel-alloyed grades resist scaling and retain high strength at high temperatures. Stainless Steel is used extensively in heat exchangers, super-heaters, boilers, feedwater heaters, valves, and mainstream lines as well as aircraft and aerospace applications.
- Hygiene – Cleanliness is a matter of high importance. The easy cleaning ability of stainless makes it the first choice for strict hygiene conditions, such as hospitals, kitchens, and food processing plants.
- Aesthetic Appearance – The bright easily maintained surface of stainless steel provides a modern and attractive appearance.
- Strength-to-Weight Advantage – The work-hardening property of austenitic grades, which results in a significant strengthening of the material from cold-working alone, and the high strength duplex grades, allow reduced material thickness over conventional grades yielding considerable cost savings.
- Ease of Fabrication – Modern steel-making techniques mean that stainless can be cut welded, bent, formed, machined, assembled, and fabricated as readily as traditional steels.
- Impact Resistance – The austenitic microstructure of the 300 series provides high toughness at elevated temperatures ranging far below freezing, making these steels particularly suited to cryogenic applications.
- Long-Term Value – In considering total cost, it is appropriate to consider material and production costs and the life cycle cost. When the total life cycle costs are considered, stainless is often the least expensive material option. The cost-saving benefit of a maintenance-free product having a long life expectancy.
100 % Recyclable – Over 50% of new stainless comes from old remelted stainless steel scrap, thereby completing the full life cycle.