Healing Properties of Stainless Steel

Written By Rachel Novak

As I learn and research more and more about our products and the materials used in them I came across this interesting fact that I wasn’t aware of regarding Stainless Steel, it has the power to “heal” itself.

Stainless steel snap hooks are popular items for their durability, strength and their anti rust properties.  Customers who manufacture items that are used outdoors or near the coast or who want a product that is going to stand up against the elements.  They are also popular with those customers who want a piece of hardware that will maintain it’s condition over time.

The magic ingredient to Stainless Steel is Chromium.  The presence of Chromium in the Stainless Steel blocks the corrosion or rust by creating a tough invisible film – Chromium Oxide.  This film is resistant to scratches, corrosion and easy to clean.   The higher the Chromium levels the stronger the passive film.   Introducing other elements to the mix will also strengthen the resistance to corrosion such as adding Nitrogen (N) or Molybdenum (MO).  If at any time the passive film is removed or scratched upon being exposed to Oxygen it will repair itself.

Some of the factors when considering whether to use Stainless Steel for your products are:

  • grade of the material
  • the design of the product
  • surface finishes desired
  • application of good housekeeping

Benefits of Stainless Steel are:

  • long term value
  • low maintenance costs
  • ease of fabrication
  • corrosion resistance
  • strength
  • hygiene
  • aesthetic appearance

It’s  GREEN too!  Stainless Steel is 100% recyclable and is not coated with any toxic material that will make it’s way into the environment.   As much of 70% of the initial material can be obtained from recyclable material to be used in production and with increased efficiencies energy consumption has been reduced.   Stainless steel is the preferred material of green builders throughout the world because of it’s impact on the environment as compared to other materials.  And even if it didn’t find it’s way to the recycling plant it would not have an negative effect on the soil or waterways.

For more information the properties of Stainless Steel I found the sites listed below to be a wealth of knowledge and information.

The South African Stainless Steel Development Association (http://sassda.co.za/)

International Stainless Steel Forum (http://www.worldstainless.org/)