Did you know that stainless steel is a relatively young entrant to the world of material science? Harry Brearley of Sheffield, UK discovered ‘rustless steel’ when he added chromium to molten iron. His goal was to create a metal that does not rust. And his discovery came to be known as stainless steel. The year was 1913.
Fast-forward 110 years and stainless steel has entered almost every facet of our lives. Look around you and you will notice plenty of things made from stainless steel – from cookware, tableware and cutlery to appliances, furniture, escalators and anything you can imagine! Its extreme durability and ease of working with ensures that it can be cut and welded to create any desirable shape.
The Composition of Stainless Steel
The main component of stainless steel is chromium (a minimum of 11%). Stainless steel may also contain other elements such as carbon, molybdenum and nickel. Each element adds a desirable characteristic to the functional properties of stainless steel. For example, chromium’s high anti-corrosion properties are what makes stainless steel resistant to rust.
Chromium forms a film over stainless steel to protect it and aid in self-healing with the presence of oxygen. Molybdenum provides stainless steel with resistance to acids, ensuring that the metal can be used in highly volatile environments.
Step-by-Step Steel Manufacturing Process
The stainless steel manufacturing process varies from organisation to organisation. At Shubhlaxmi, we follow an elaborate process to create the best stainless steel products for our clients. Here is a summary of the steps followed by our manufacturing team:
Step 1: Decide which type of stainless steel you wish to create. There are several grades of stainless steel (e.g.: 304, 410, 430, 316 stainless steel), and each grade has a unique ratio of materials (carbon, iron, nickel, etc).
Step 2: Once you are sure about the type of stainless steel you need, gather the raw material and place them in a furnace. The materials should be heated between 8 and 12 hours till they reach their melting point.
Step 3: The molten materials are then taken through a decarburization system to get rid of excess carbon. The amount of carbon removed will impact the hardness and tensile strength of the resulting product.
Step 4: The molten steel is then stirred to ensure it is of uniform quality.
Step 5: As the metal begins to cool, it undergoes several processes to solidify. One such process is hot rolling, which helps the steel get a rough shape. Cold rolling is done if there is a requirement to get metal in precise dimensions.
Step 6: The process of annealing is carried out to update the steel’s mechanical properties. It involves heating and cooling the metal in a controlled environment.
Step 7: After annealing is carried out, the metal is placed through a series of shaping and cutting processes to create the final stainless steel product for the application. Metallic shears, laser machines or CNC punch machines are used this purpose.
Step 8: Finally, surface coats are applied by grinding the surface to add smoothness and remove impurities.
Testing of our Stainless Steel Products
Our products are put to use in highly volatile environments. Therefore, we put our products to several tests before the handover to the customer:
We test the tensile strength of the finished product to verify its mechanical properties. This ensures that it is capable of exceeding the expectations for which it is bought for.
Through current testing, we check for surface flaws such as cracks in tubes. We pass an alternating current through the stainless steel to create a field. A change in amplitude will indicate flaws.
It may labour-intensive but a manual visual inspection helps to ensure that our products are compliant with the most complex customer requirements.
Choosing from our range of Stainless Steel Products
At Shubhalaxmi, we offer the finest stainless products with no compromise on quality control. If you are looking for world-class stainless steel seamless pipes & tubes, welded pipes & tubes, section tubes, “U” tubes or corrugated tubes, look no further than Shubhlaxmi. Contact us at +91-22-49710050 email@example.com to get started.