What Is The Primary Metallic Element That Is Added To Steel To Make It Stainless Steel?


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Steel is an alloy of iron with carbon and sometimes other constituents like manganese and molybdenum.

To form stainless steel, chromium must be added in a proportion of 12-26%. This addition of chromium metal reduces the danger of oxidation or corrosion of the steel.

This works because chromium reacts with the oxygen air to form a thin coating of chromium (III) oxide. This is called a passivation layer.

This layer is so thin that it cannot be seen on the surface so stainless steel retains a shiny surface.

The passivation layer effectively seals the surface of the stainless steel so that the iron in it is not exposed to oxygen in the air to form rust.

Stainless steel has versatile uses because it is cheap to make and strong and very resistant to corrosion. It is uses in kitchen equipment such as pots and pans and cutlery. It is also used in the contruction and aerospace industries.

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