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What is stainless steel and how is it made?

2022-07-30
Due to its excellent corrosion resistance, high strength, and attractive appearance, stainless steel sees a wide range of uses in both industrial and consumer markets.

How is stainless steel made
The exact process for the grade of stainless steel will vary in later stages. How a steel grade is formed, worked and finished plays an important role in determining its shape and performance.Before you can create a deliverable steel product, you must first create a molten ingot.

Because of this most steel grades share common starting steps.

Step 1: Melting
The manufacture of stainless steel begins with the smelting of scrap metals and additives in an electric arc furnace (EAF). Using high-powered electrodes, the electric arc furnace heats metals over many hours to form a molten liquid mixture.
Because stainless steel is 100% recyclable, many stainless steel orders contain up to 60% recycled steel. This not only helps in controlling costs but reduces the environmental impact.

Step 2: Remove of Carbon Content
Carbon helps increase the hardness and strength of iron. However, too much carbon can cause problems – such as carbide deposition during welding.Before casting molten stainless steel, it is necessary to calibrate and reduce the carbon content to an appropriate level.

Step 3: Tuning
After the carbon is reduced, the final equilibrium and homogenization of temperature and chemistry occurs. This ensures that the metal meets the requirements for the intended grade and that the composition of the steel is consistent throughout the batch.

Step 4: Forming or Casting
With the formation of the molten steel, the forge must now create the primitive shape used to cool and work the steel. The exact shape and dimensions depend on the final product.

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