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Stainless Steel

Anco precision has access to some of the best materials available. Inox steel (from the French word ‘inoxydable’) is commonly refers to as stainless steel. Stainless steel is an alloy that does not stain, corrode or rust as easily as its cousin, ordinary steel. However it is not totally stain or corrosion resistant. In the aviation industry you may also see stainless steel called CRES or corrosion-resistant steel.

There are many different grades (high, low and medium to name the obvious) and just as many different surfaces and finishes suiting any environment or weather to which the steel will be subjected to in its existence. Stainless steel is used in situations where both strength and corrosion resistance are key factors. The main difference between carbon and stainless steel is simple, the amount of chromium present in each. Carbon steel is relatively higher in chromium than it stainless steel counterpart so it is apt to rust when exposed to moist air. Rust is comprised of iron oxide which when made will continue to accelerate thus eating more and more steel or material over time.

Stainless steels contain a sufficient amount of chromium which helps to form a film of chromium oxide over the top surface, which aids in preventing further corrosion and also blocks corrosion from spreading internally into the metal which would weaken the steel and reduce its life and effectiveness over time.

In 1821 a French metal worker recognized the power that iron-chromium held over corrosion and acids and suggested that metals high in that make-up should be used to make knives. Sadly metallurgists of the 1800’s could not produce metals low enough in carbon for and high enough chromium content so knives and tools made where brittle and did not last. It was nearly a hundred years later, between 1904 and 1911 that an alloy similar to the stainless steel we use today was made. Stainless steels resistance to acids and corrosion has made it a common material in manufacturing all over the world. Its low maintenance, low cost and shiny appearance have also helped to make it popular. Over 150 grades (quality and make-up) of stainless steel are in existence, however only 15 of those are commonly used.

Stainless can be molded and machine in to numerous forms like sheets, bar, plaiting, tubing and wire. Its uses are in the thousands if not millions, some of which include: knives, appliances, electronics, buildings and the automotive industry. Stainless steel remains one of the best building materials available and a highly requested metal here at Anco precision machining.