INTRODUCTION TO STAINLESS STEEL
The history of iron and steel stumbled, until the dawn of the 20th century, against a major problem of corrosion resistance, which was able to be solved only by adding to the steel mix a certain quantity of chromium, as foreseen in the experimental works of Henry Le Chatelier almost a century earlier.
To be classified in the stainless category, a steel must contain at least 10.5% chromium and less than 1.2% carbon (Standard EN 10020).
The large family of stainless steels - with a wealth of over 200 grades - also employs alloying elements other than chromium depending on the properties sought, with regard to both corrosion resistance and mechanical properties or processing conditions.
Among these alloying elements can be mentioned nickel, molybdenum, copper, titanium, niobium and nitrogen.