Stainless steel was developed during the 1900s. Since then people have been using it in a lot of industries. Its wide range of properties has made it one of the essential materials for the construction industry. Stainless steel is highly resistant to corrosion. In addition to that, it also provides high resistance to extreme temperatures. Its per year utilization has expanded exponentially during the last 20 years, exceeding the growth rate of other substances.
Types of Stainless Steel
There are more than 200 types of stainless steel based on composition, and every year new types are developed. We can distinguish between each type based on how they respond under heat treatment and the method of fabrication.
In general, it is categorized into three main classes based on its metallurgical structure:
Austenitic – It is one of the most commonly used categories of stainless steel. It is considered more corrosion resistant than ferritic and martensitic stainless steel.
Ferritic – It is given this name because its structure is the same as that of iron at 25 degrees Celcius. Unless heated to more than 750°C, it is magnetic in nature.
Martensitic – This type of stainless steel has around 11.5 – 18% chromium content.
Properties of Stainless Steel
Following are some of its basic properties of it.
- Chemical Properties
- Physical Properties
According to Sedriks, it is an alloy of iron, which contains at least 11% of chromium. The presence of chromium helps prevent it from corrosion. It is given the name stainless steel because of the fact that it does not corrode easily.
As compared to carbon steel, stainless steel shows more resistance to high temperatures. Although its physical properties of it are not as important, they might have an effect on the material selection.
Now that we have discussed its properties and types, let’s talk about the use of stainless steel in construction.
Uses of Stainless Steel in Construction
Stainless steel is known for being corrosion-resistant, easy to clean, and uplifting the visual appeal of things in its surroundings. There are endless ways in which it can be used in the construction industry.
Ranging from kitchen countertops to railings and pools, stainless steel can be seen in almost all the corners of contemporary houses.
Some of the ways in which stainless steel can be used in construction are as follows.
Drainage System and Plumbing
Builders prefer drainage systems made of stainless steel because of their hygienic properties, reusability, and ease of installation.
It provides a smooth finish to pipes, which makes it easier to clean, and sterilize them.
Moreover, they require less maintenance and are also corrosion-resistant. The installation process of stainless steel pipes is about 40% faster than that of iron plumbing. Furthermore, stainless is a 100% recyclable material
Properties such as durability, sustainability, and cleanliness of stainless make it one of the top choices for swimming pools today. It can be installed easily in comparison to other conventional materials.
The weight of a steel vessel is 1/3rd times less than that of a concrete vessel, which makes it more suitable for the construction of pools. When it comes to installation, this property of stainless steel can save both time and money.
Moreover, the smooth and nonporous surface of steel can limit the production of bacteria, as it can be cleaned easily.
Another common use of it is in the construction of railings. Cable railings offer a stylish look to the outdoor or indoor space of the house by providing a sustainable yet stylish substitute for conventional railings.
We frequently see these railings in contemporary houses in Pakistan. Their smooth and shiny surface offers a relatively more aesthetic and modern appeal to it.
Marble and quartz are typically used for the construction of kitchen countertops, however, metal has gradually become the next popular choice for them.
If you are looking for an easy-to-clean, and durable kitchen countertop, stainless steel is the perfect choice for it. In addition to the looks of it, stainless steel is useful in the sense that you don’t have to worry about putting hot pans over it, which was not the case with marble countertops.
Besides, being dense in its structure, it is also a strong, hygienic, and rust-resistant material. This is the reason we typically see steel countertops in restaurant kitchens.
In comparison to marble and stone, steel does not require much maintenance. You do not need to polish it from time to time.
It does get weather marks, however, it ages very well.
Exposed Steel Framework
In the past few years architecturally exposed structural steel has gained popularity. In big corporate buildings, we often see this exposed structure of steel bars on the roof.
Steel bars give strength to the structure of the building, it has more to do with its visual appeal. The shiny surface of the metal framework helps brighten up the space by reflecting the light naturally.
Large-scale standards for the augmentation of stainless steel in river structures have been built. River structures, for example, dams, water gates, and wires are complicated, and they have continual exposure to eroding situations, which makes it hard to inspect and replace them.
The corrosion resistance is difficult to limit by simply painting, which makes it the best choice for the construction of river structures.
Construction of Bridges
Another important use of stainless steel is the construction of bridges. It is widely used throughout the world for bridge construction, particularly in Europe. Its properties of being rust-free, and long-lasting, making it the top choice to build bridges.
Stainless steel is one of the top building materials, that is essential for a lot of industries. This blog discusses at length its uses, properties, and types of it.
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