These days, however, stainless steel is also becoming very popular among jewellery fans, who prize its strength and resistance to oxidation/rusting. It's shine and strength is incredibly popular with today's contemporary man who has an eye for style and combined with leather, resin and beads, creates an undeniable masculine appeal to any piece. It can be re-finished by any jeweler and will not oxidize or turn black. Stainless Steel applications can be summarized into high durable and pleasingly aesthetical.
Stainless steel best known property is that it withstands corrosion much longer than regular steel. There are certain grades of stainless steel that resist corrosion under extreme circumstances, making it perfect for biopharmaceutical and food safety appliances. Stainless steel is used where both the properties of steel and corrosion resistance are required, and also for certain jewelry. Stainless steel differs from regular steel (also known as carbon steel) by the amount of chromium present inside its composition. Carbon steel rusts readily when exposed to air and moisture.
When stainless steel parts such as nuts and bolts are forced together, the oxide layer can be scraped off, allowing the parts to weld together. Stainless steel is generally highly resistant to attack from acids.
Grades of Stainless Steel
There are over 150 grades of stainless steel, of which 15 are most commonly used. Here is a little list of common Stainless Steel grades.
Stainless Steel can be presented in a wide variety of finishes. The more it’s polished the best it will be for decorative uses like jewelry. A final finish to the stainless steel can then be applied to achieve the desired aesthetic appearance.
- Hot rolled, annealed, thicker plates
- Hot rolled, annealed and passivated
2D. Cold rolled, annealed, pickled and passivated
2B. Same as above with additional pass through highly polished rollers
2BA. Bright annealed (BA or 2R) same as above then bright annealed under oxygen-free atmospheric condition
- Coarse abrasive finish applied mechanically
- Brushed finish
- Satin finish
- Matte finish (brushed but smoother than #4)
- Reflective finish
- Mirror finish
- Bead blast finish
- Heat colored finish—offering a wide range of electro polished and heat colored surfaces
Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion makes it an ideal material for many applications. It can be used in cookware, cutlery, household hardware, surgical instruments, major appliances, industrial equipment, as automotive and aerospace structural alloy, and construction material in large buildings. Storage tanks and tankers used to transport edibles are often made of stainless steel, because of its corrosion resistance and its inertity. Stainless steel is used for jewelry and watches too, and 316L is the stainless steel grade commonly used for such applications.
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