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Stainless Steel Applications

There are so many industries that use stainless steel so we’ve concentrated on five key ones: construction, aerospace & MoD, medical technology, food & catering and architectural design.
Construction
Strength, resistance and flexibility, together with ‘green credentials’ make stainless steel a vital material in the building trade and wider construction industry. It features in both residential and commercial construction due to its weldability, easy maintenance and attractive finish. Stainless steel is used internally on items as diverse as sinks and handrails. Externally, it’s very popular from a structural point of view, including as cladding on high impact buildings.
Aerospace & MoD
The aerospace and defence industries value stainless steel for its strength, durability and ability to withstand extreme temperatures. It’s the ideal material for diverse applications, from parts to actual structure and frame-work.
Medical technology
Stainless steel is the preferred material in sterile environments because it is easy to clean and resistant to corrosion. It’s used in the production of a wide range of medical equipment, including surgical and dental instruments. It’s also a key component in theatre furniture, MRI scanners, cannulas, and steam sterilisers. Most surgical implants (eg replacement joints and artificial hips) are made from stainless steel, as are pins and plates to repair broken bones.
Food & catering
Because it doesn’t affect the flavour of food, stainless steel is ideal for food production and kitchen accessories, such as cookware and cutlery. Its resistance to corrosion makes it idea for use with acidic food stuffs while its sterile properties keep bacteria at bay.
Architectural design
Stainless steel’s aesthetic qualities combined with its weldability, strength and durability make it a highly valuable material in modern architecture. A variety of finishes can be specified, such as brushed, polished and matt. It can be engraved and tinted, and its easy maintenance means it continues to look good.


Aluminum Alloy Applications

The properties of the various aluminium alloys has resulted in aluminium being used in industries as diverse as transport, food preparation, energy generation, packaging, architecture, and electrical transmission applications. Depending upon the application, aluminium can be used to replace other materials like copper, steel, zinc, tinplate, stainless steel, titanium, wood, paper, concrete and composites.
Packaging
Corrosion resistance and protection against UV light combined with moisture and odour containment plus the fact that aluminium is non-toxic and will not leach or taint the products has resulted in the widespread use of aluminium foils and sheet in food packaging and protection. The most common use of aluminium for packaging has been in aluminium beverage cans. Aluminium cans now account for around 15% of the global consumption of aluminium.
Transport
After the very earliest days of manned flight, the excellent strength to weight ratio of aluminium have made it the prime material for the construction of aircraft. These same properties of aluminium mean various alloys are now also used in passenger and freight rail cars, commercial vehicles, military vehicles, ships & boats, buses & coaches, bicycles and increasingly in motor cars. The sustainable nature of aluminium with regard to corrosion resistance and recyclability has helped drive the recent increases in demand for aluminium vehicle components.
Marine Applications
Aluminium plate and extrusions are used extensively for the superstructures of ships. The use of these materials allows designers to increase the above waterline size of the vessel without creating stability problems. The weight advantage of aluminium has allowed marine architects to gain better performance from the available power by using aluminium in the hulls of hovercraft, fast multi-hulled catamarans and surface planing vessels.
Lower weight and longer lifecycles have seen aluminium become the established material for helidecks and helideck support structures on offshore oil and gas rigs. The same reasons have resulted in the widespread use of aluminium in oil rig stair towers and telescopic personnel bridges.
Building and Architecture
Aluminium use in buildings covers a wide range of applications. The applications include roofing, foil insulation, windows, cladding, doors, shopfronts, balustrading, architectural hardware and guttering. Aluminium is also commonly used as the in the form of treadplate and industrial flooring.
Foils
Aluminium is produced in commercial foils as thin as 0.0065 mm (or 6.5 µm). Material thicker than 0.2mm is called sheet or strip.
Aluminium foil is impervious to light, gases, oils and fats, volatile compounds and water vapour. These properties combined with high formability, heat and cold resistance, non toxicity, strength and reflectivity to heat and light mean aluminium foil is used in many applications.


Galvanized Steel Applications

Galvanized metals are used everywhere!
The bodies of cars and many bicycles are made from galvanized metals. Some drinking water pipes are still made from galvanized steel. Cool rolled sheet metal is also frequently galvanized. Nuts, bolts, tools, and wires of all kinds are now galvanized because it is a cheap process, and helps boost the metal’s lifespan!
Galvanized steel, in particular, is often what is used in modern “steel frame” buildings. Galvanized steel is also used to create structures like balconies, verandahs, staircases, ladders, walkways, and more. Galvanized metal is the ideal choice if your project will live outside after it’s done. Fences, roofs, outdoor walkways, these are all great choices for galvanized metal!
Wind & solar industries
Solar projects must have a continuous workflow once installed and any repairs/maintenance results in disruption to service (a.k.a. revenue loss). This means that hot-dipped galvanized steels are popular in solar projects for their corrosion protection. It is also popular for its ‘environmental’ friendliness because it does not produce emissions and ensures decades without maintenance. For example, it is often utilized in the agriculture industry because the equipment is susceptible to being easily corroded, creating a demand for tougher, more resilient equipment. Hot-dip galvanized steel provides corrosion protection that can often last for decades, even when exposed to the harsh environment of farming.
Mosaic
style background of various galvanized steel textures with the words, “Galvanized Steel Industries” and flat white icons representing wind, solar, automotive, construction, and telecommunication.
Automotive industry
Though only used on luxury models up until the 1980s, the use of zinc-coated bodies for automobiles is now the norm in auto manufacturing. The ‘body-in-white’ of a car makes up about 80% of the body, all using galvanized steel. The rust -resistance of galvanized steel is also a good marketing tool for the automotive industry because it can provide ‘anti-rust warranties’ to customers.
Construction industry
Whether for residential or commercial,the durability of galvanized steel has made it popular for over a century in the construction industry. It is also selected for construction because of its aesthetics; The ‘shine’ that galvanized steel provides gives it a contemporary feel and is popular in modern architectural designs. Also, it isn’t just used for large structural pieces but things like fencing, gutters, rails, tubing, poles, and much more. Telecommunication industry – Phone lines are not an easy maintenance job, they are tall and often difficult to reach. Hot-galvanized steel can be used on phone wiring and equipment boxes which decreases the risk of damage and need for maintenance at all.


Carbon Steel Applications

The carbon content can significantly impact a carbon steel’s mechanical characteristics, leading to a broad range of brittleness and malleability. However, they share extraordinary hardness characteristics, making carbon steel suitable for structural, vehicle, and home applications. Four of the most widely used carbon steel products are described below.
Construction Structure Steels
Steels with intermediate to high carbon contents and high levels of other alloying elements exhibit excellent formability and structural integrity, allowing them to be shaped into a wide range of steel profiles and sections. These may be treated and tested to a variety of specifications for rigorous building demands and are often found in a variety of engineering applications across the world.
Petrochemical Wells>
HIC (hydrogen induced cracking) resistant carbon steel is ultra-low carbon steel that is commonly utilized in the oil and gas industry for sour service. Steel components in near-constant contact with hydrogen sulfide may develop hydrogen embrittlement and associated cracking over time. This is a costly, time-consuming, and sometimes dangerous sign of sour service that may be avoided by employing HIC resistant carbon steel. HIC resistant carbon steel is desulphurized and dephosphorized to remove unwanted trace elements and provide a wonderfully pure homogeneous steel with less than 0.2% carbon content.
Shipbuilding
Flat-rolled sheets of low-carbon steel and high formability mild steel are utilized in the production of several lightweight and high-hardness constructions. Deck facilities on ships of varying sizes commonly employ carbon steel to complement the heavier, corrosion-resistant hull plating, which typically contains a greater manganese concentration. Steels of various grades are utilized in the construction of ship superstructures, with low and mild carbon steels serving as a foundation for harder steel cladding. Those with manganese concentrations as high as 1.65% are routinely produced into steel plates and surface treated to withstand a variety of corrosive substances. These products are commonly utilized to construct the hulls and superstructures of container ships and passenger liners.
Pipeworks And Pressure Vessels
The gas and petrochemical industries are among the most significant users of raw carbon steel materials, producing millions of miles of carbon steel pipework and pressure vessels. Low-carbon steel is an intriguing option for these uses due to its high weldability for forming into complicated, rounded forms and its case hardening capabilities.

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