Did you know? Stainless steel was an accident! - Shandong Jiugang Tisco Steel Co., Ltd.

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Did you know? Stainless steel was an accident!

Stainless steel was accidentally discovered in England in 1912 and invented by Harry Brearley, but it was not his original intention and was a complete accident.


At the time, Harry Brearley was working for a gunsmith and trying to find a more wear-resistant material. The bore of the barrel was wearing out too quickly due to the heat and emissions. He tried adding 10-20% chromium to the steel. He didn’t handle the failed batches properly and just left them out. After a few months, he noticed that they were not rusting, so he found stainless steel.


Others say that when he tried to analyze the steel/chromium mixture under a microscope, he first needed to etch it with nitric acid, which he found to be extremely resistant to corrosion. The scientist Brearley gave his new invention a name: “rustless steel” (rust-free steel), the businessman Stewart was not convinced, changed to “stainless steel” (no loss of luster steel), the name has been used to this day. The name has been used to this day. The Chinese translation is very grounded: stainless steel, so people will understand at a glance.

The initial development of stainless steel


Rielly applied for a U.S. patent in 1915 and later that year introduced the world to stainless steel in an article published in the New York Times.


Today, stainless steel is ubiquitous in the modern world. It is used in everything from manufacturing, automotive, aerospace and construction industries to surgical instruments, locks and any object that may be exposed to the weather. Modern stainless steel also has nickel added to the mixture. 18% chromium to 8% nickel is the most common grade of stainless steel, often referred to simply as 18-8 or 304 stainless steel.

However, Brearley was not the first discoverer of stainless steel. in the early 20th century, two French engineers, Gueye and Poluze, discovered that iron doped with chromium made the metal shiny and resistant to corrosion, which was rashly thrown away because the alloy was not known to have any use at the time.


In 1912, the United States Hermes also manufactured stainless steel. During the same period German metallurgists Schutraus and Maurer also found that the addition of chromium and nickel in the smelting can make steel rust-free. Their discovery is almost the same starting line as the British Blairley, but observe the strange phenomenon found, they did not ask a why? But stopped before stepping into the door of science to continue their research, and as a result, with the discovery and development of stainless steel laurels to gain huge economic benefits.

Scientists later discovered that stainless steel is so resistant to corrosion because when it is exposed to air, its surface chromium forms a dense layer of chromium trioxide, a thin oxide film that does not affect the smoothness and metallic luster of the metal’s surface. . This oxide film also does not continue to react with water and air, and when the surface is scratched, a new oxide film is quickly generated. Although aluminum alloys are lighter than steel and also resistant to corrosion, the oxide film does have a gray surface that is not as shiny as stainless steel. On the other hand, aluminum is softer, while chromium is the hardest metal with a Mohs hardness of 9, making it less susceptible to wear and tear. Although stainless steel is more costly, it is still widely used.

Since all stainless steels are determined by the content of their constituent elements, not any one stainless steel can resist the invasive corrosion of a wide range of media: what is commonly referred to as stainless steel can only resist atmospheric exposure corrosion (temperature, humidity, sunlight, rain and atmospheric dirt corrosion, etc.), and day after day there will also be surface discoloration and even rust stains. But these defects do not erase the brilliance of stainless steel performance, nor can they shake the status of being laid down for a wide range of uses. People call it stainless steel, is a major scientific discovery in the 20th century to change the course of human civilization.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)



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