Stainless steel

Stainless steel was surprisingly created by accident in 1913 during experiments into different alloys used in steels. In tests some samples were noted to contain a higher amount of chromium. They had enhanced properties in that they were corrosion resistant and difficult to etch. The material subsequently became popular for making cutlery.

Since then the number of applications for it have grown extensively. This has been aided by the fact that adding different elements can enhance other properties of the material. As a result there is actually a big family of materials referred to as stainless steels.

The corrosion resistance is what makes stainless steel so popular today. It is a unique property thanks to the chromium. This creates an oxide layer that prevents corroding. Surprisingly the oxide is self healing so if it is damaged during fabrication it will repair itself.

There are several other useful properties of the material that makes it suitable for various applications. It is resistant to low temperatures, retains high strength when the temperature rises, is highly ductile, and has much higher strength than mild steels.

One property of stainless steel that can be a benefit as well as a challenge is that the material hardens when it is cold formed. When more strength is needed it can be achieved by cold working. This means it can easily be adapted to match different tensile strengths and different applications.

The work hardening does create a challenge when it comes to manufacturing stainless steel tubing. The fact that it becomes harder when worked means that processes like rolling and bending can be tricky. To do it effectively you need the right equipment and must make adjustments to account for the hardening.

At Multiform Tubes we have a lot of experience with stainless steel and can manufacture a wide array of different tubing from it. We have the equipment and knowledge to do this with great precision and will satisfy the needs of each client. If you would like further information please contact us.