16% of the metal parts we laser cut are stainless steel, that’s 8% by weight.
It is one of the most versatile materials available and the uses that these components go to is surprisingly broad, it is a metal popular in a wide range of industries, from hospitality and catering to agricultural and industrial processes.
One reason why stainless steel is so widely used is that it is self-healing, meaning that it won’t crack, chip or corrode under normal use. It is an iron based alloy containing a minimum of 10.5% chromium which forms a thin, transparent layer on the surface. When activated by oxygen in either air or water, this layer repairs light scratching and surface damage.
Stainless steel remains bright even after it has been in use for years. It is resistant to damage, maintaining its structure in a range of challenging environments where other metals would fail, it stands up to high and low temperatures, wet and dry conditions, shock and abrasion.
Why is stainless steel great for hygienic applications?
Similarly to glass and china, stainless steel contains no pores, cracks or open spaces for bacteria to embed itself in, it is also highly resistant to odour and discolouration. This is why it is an excellent choice for applications where hygiene is important, providing protection to the end user from bacteria, viruses and infections. In addition, unlike other materials such as copper and zinc, it is generally inert to most acids and alkalis released by cooked foods, spices and additives. Stainless steel does not transfer in any way, so it does not contaminate anything that comes into contact with it.
Medical applications obviously have high hygiene requirements, stainless is ideal because it is entirely non-absorbent, ensuring that a surface clean removes bacteria and germs. Similarly, it is widely used for anything to do with food, from production through to storage and consumption.
The hygienic properties of stainless steel also make it very suited to busy, fast paced environments, where regular deep cleaning and intense sanitation isn’t possible, for example, public areas like stations, shopping centres and reception areas.
An added benefit of stainless steel is that it is completely and infinitely recyclable, making it not only environmentally friendly, but also incredibly practical in increasingly overpopulated nations where recycling is crucial.
If your project requires the corrosion resistance, strength, formability and recyclability of stainless steel, take a look at the grades and finishes we can cut and supply. You can contact our sales team with orders by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or with any other queries, call us on 01376 327182.