Stainless steel – Effervescent throughout our daily lives


It’s hard to imagine a world without it, but how is stainless steel produced? Tony Wheatly explores.

Metallurgists have defined stainless steel as a steel alloy containing at least 10% chromium, by mass it is distinguished from chromium steel by the lower carbon content.

Interestingly it was in 1821 that Frenchman Pierre Berthier first recognised the corrosion resisting properties of iron-chromium alloys and the first practical use he imagined was cutlery; today it’s difficult to picture a table setting without stainless steel.

The problem was that until Hans Goldschmidt of Germany developed the aluminothermic (thermite) process for producing carbon-free chromium, it was not possible to produce alloys with the combination of high chromium and low carbon, that have proved so indispensable in the manufacture of items as diverse as jewellery, automotive exhausts, architectural features and cryogenic storage tanks.

... to continue reading you must be subscribed

Subscribe Today

Paywall Asset Header Graphic

To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.

Please wait...