Stainless Steel Tubing is a Product Used in Many Industries

Stainless steel tubing is invaluable to many industries that value the superior hygiene of the material when transferring liquids, gases and powders. In particular, the food industry is one of the largest users of stainless steel. Anything that comes in contact is easier to clean and sanitize if it’s made of stainless steel. But the hygienic aspect of the material wasn’t the primary reason for its development.

Stainless steel is a material defined as being a steel containing 12.8% chromium and 0.24% carbon. The material was developed to offer less corrosion than 100% steel, but ‘development’ may be a bit of a misnomer. The winning formula for the steel was finally decided positively in 1913, 93 years after the research was begun on the role of chromium in reducing the corrosive characteristics of steel in 1820.

Needed Advancement

The use of steel prior to the discovery of stainless steel was problematic. It was certainly strong and could be formed into any shape or form, but its tendency to begin rusting almost immediately when left as a bare metal had its drawbacks.

The material had to be constantly painted and maintained to be of use in any construction or industrial application, which was expensive and impractical. The use of steel as a construction material needed to undergo a period of advancement and development before it would find favour with the designers, architects and contractors of the time.

However, several scientists working on the problem in the early 1800s noted that an iron-chromium alloy was more resistant to corrosion by some acids. But the missing piece of the puzzle was yet to be discovered.

In 1875, a French scientist named Brustlein found that steel with a low carbon content added to the material’s ability to withstand corrosion. Yet, the final formula to create completely stainless steel eluded scientists for another 48 years.

It wasn’t until 1913 that an Englishmen named Harry Brearley was working on narrowing down the required amounts of iron, chromium, and carbon to get an alloy that would withstand erosion rather than corrosion. But during his experiments, he hit upon a formula that would exceed all his aims. He created an alloy that would resist all erosion, oxidation, and corrosion.

Brearley’s formula of steel containing 12.8% chromium and 0.24% carbon still defines the term ‘stainless steel’ today.

Steel of Choice

An undiscovered aspect of the material was its hygienic properties, as it was looked at as a construction material and not a material used with food and beverages. But as stainless steel grew in popularity, so did the applications for it. People started making kitchenware out of it, and the hygienic nature of the steel was discovered.

Today stainless steel is also used extensively for tubing because of its durability and resistance to corrosion. To find a wide variety of thicknesses and diameters of stainless steel tubing in Malaysia, contact Simlecco, the leading supplier of hoses, tubing, and valves.