You will hear many people talking about stainless steel because of its corrosion resistance, high strength and attractive appearance. This is also the same reason why they have a wide range of applications. Many people are still wondering how stainless steel is made which is actually simple and very clear if you got into books to read about it.
Are you one of those people wondering how stainless steel goes from a pile of scrap metals or even refined ores to the final attractive, corrosion resistant and highly strong metal? If yes then read on and be sure to view aero flex for more information.
What is its Composition?
To better understand how stainless steel is made, we first of all have to understand its composition. Stainless steel is actually a composition of Chromium alloy and iron. What this means is that it consists of about 10.5% Chromium which is the exact components and ratios. However, these compositions vary from one grade to the other and also the intended use.
There are several other additives that are included which includes: Nitrogen, Manganese, Nickel, Carbon, Molybdenum, sulphur, copper and silicon.
In the alloying process, the exact composition is carefully measured and assessed. This is to make sure that the steel exhibits all the desired qualities.
Why Are Other Metals Added in the Process of Making Stainless Steel?
Most people wonder why the stainless steel is a composition of many compounds, gases and metals. Some of the reasons are:
- To improve strength
- To make it more resistant to corrosion
- To make it resistant to temperatures
- To increase its weldability
- To improve formality
- To control magnetism.
So, How is Stainless Steel Made?
The process will differ in the later stages, especially because of the shape, work and how the grade is finished. However, regardless of the steel you choose, they will follow the below process.
The whole process will start with melting scrap metals and additives in the EAF. This is done using high-power electrodes. The heating process may take many hours. The heating temperatures will vary depending on the grade of metal.
Removing Carbon Contents
The fact is that too much of carbon can be problematic and for this reason, there are two ways that can control carbon content which are: Argon Oxygen Decarburization and the Vacuum Oxygen Decarburization.
Now that the carbon is reduced, there’s another final balancing and homogenization of temperatures and chemistry. This stage is to make sure that the final product meets all the requirements for the grade and the specific use.
Forming or Casting
After the molten steel is created, the foundry is now created to shape, cool and work the steel. It may choose any of the below shapes:
Depending on the specific use and the grade, the steel might as well go through some of these steps many times which includes:
- Hot Rolling
- Cold Rolling