6 Industrial Applications for Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is right at the heart of engineering and construction applications. Through fabrication processes like cutting, punching, welding, forming or CNC machining, stainless steel materials can be processed from raw stock into appliances, pipelines, kitchenware and countertops and many more.

Although stainless steel is gradually being replaced with aluminum, titanium and some other metal alloys, it still has one of the highest end-uses. Because of its excellent physical, chemical and mechanical properties like strength, corrosion-resistance and cleanliness, it remains in particularly high demand where moisture will come in contact with the product. Here are 6 industries that make the greatest use of stainless steel. 

1. Construction 

Stainless steel is an essential metal in building and construction. It serves both detail, design, reinforcement and primary structural support for both small and large buildings. Away from residential or commercial buildings, stainless steel is the choice metal for making bridges. Its excellent strength and durability makes it suitable for handling the weight and stress that moving vehicles will apply on the structure, while its corrosion-resistance means that it can be used in salt or fresh water environments without an overarching risk of rust or structural compromise. 

Stainless steel is also used for interior construction applications like handrails, countertops, wash basins and public restroom structures. 

2. Transportation 

The transportation industry widely consists of the rail, automotive, marine and aerospace sectors. Stainless steel is deployed in various components of vehicles, airplanes, trains, railway and ships.

From exhaust systems to propeller fans, seatbelt springs, hose clamps, exhaust systems, bus bodies, railways track, cargo tanks, deck grills, anchor chains, handrails and many more, stainless steel is almost indispensable to this industry. 

3. Food processing 

Stainless steel qualifies on all the requirements of the FDA, SON, ISO and other regulatory bodies concerning the processing of food and food materials. In food processing, the properties of cleanliness, ability to be sterilized, anti-corrosion, and non-absorption are crucial for approval of material usage in the industry. Stainless steel meets all of these requirements, and is evidently deployed in making pots, cutleries, cooling surfaces, saucepans, grills, cookers, trays, countertops, sinks, packaging materials and more.

4. Electronics and household 

Household electronic devices like freezers, refrigerators, microwaves, toasters, ovens, dishwashers, cookers, washing machines and many more all consist of stainless steel parts, components or panels. 

5. Medical applications

While stainless steel is more popular for its usage in other industries, its diversity and biocompatibility makes it an excellent option in medical applications. Steel grades 304 and 316 are deemed surgical steel, suitable for making surgical tools, hypodermic needles, orthopedic implants, stents, prosthetic components, scales, and electronic devices.

6. Energy and power

The complexity of the operations in oil and gas exploration, development and transportation calls for materials like stainless steel to guarantee longevity and efficiency in performance. The high cost of investments first demand that only the most durable materials are used in this industry. The high amount of chemical materials produced during oil and gas operations also demand that a non-corrosive, chemical and thermal resistant material is used. All of these properties are native to stainless steel. 

Stainless steel is used in the energy and power industry for stainless tanks, pumps, valves, pipeline networks, rigs and plants. Its application is pervasive across oil and gas, hydroelectric processing, wind turbines, solar and geothermal energy and power sectors.  

How Can We Process Stainless Steel for You? 

CNC machining 

Firstpart provides an excellent catalog of 3 to 5-axis CNC machine services that are ideal for making complex metal designs in low to mid volume manufacturing ranges. We can combine our CNC machines with an array of other techniques and apparatuses to deliver exemplary results that go beyond your expectation in any application or industry. 

Sheet metal fabrication processes 

Our wide variety of sheet metal processes like stamping, bending, forming, punching, pressing and more are guaranteed to make critical prototypes and end-parts that will serve any requirements your business may desire.