Stainless Steel 101: A Brief History

For the most part, we take stainless steel wire suppliers and stainless steel for granted. It is in stuff we use every day, but it is so nondescript and quietly reliable, most of us are not even aware of it when we are using it.

Below is a brief history of stainless steel and why it is so important to our daily lives.

What is Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel is an alloy that contains at least 10.5 percent chromium, which keeps the iron from rusting and protects other elements, including copper, nickel, titanium, and aluminum, from corrosion.

The chromium also makes stainless steel very heat resistant. In some formulas, nitrogen is added to fight pitting corrosion even further and improve the steel’s mechanical strength.

Invention and Development

Chromium was first shown to have protective properties in the late 1700s. By 1821, “chromium steel” was recognized for its oxidation and corrosion resistance. A U.S. patent for stainless steel was issued in 1869, and the development of the alloy continued well into the 1950s and 1960s.

The American Stainless Steel Company was one of the first businesses in the USA to manufacture a huge total tonnage of the product. Over 25,000 tons of stainless steel were manufactured in the USA and sold annually by 1929.

Major metallurgy developments in the decades since have resulted in processes that allow the removal of carbon and sulfur from the steel, continuous casting, and hot and cold strip rolling. Over the last 100 years, dozens of grades of stainless steel have been discovered and used for commercial purposes.

Why Stainless Steel is Popular

The most significant reason stainless steel is so popular and prevalent is that it resists corrosion and staining while remaining incredibly strong. Stainless steel is used in many different industries and products:

  • Cookware, cutlery, and surgical instruments
  • Mission-critical equipment parts in airplanes, automobiles, and major appliances
  • Construction materials
  • Industrial equipment
  • Storage tanks, including chemical storage tanks

This is just a short list of the many different applications for stainless steel.

Stainless steel is a workhorse that does not demand much attention but performs reliably, even when used daily. If you are looking for a stainless steel wire supplier in OH and the surrounding states, contact the experts at Wickwire Warehouse Inc. today.