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Stainless Steel and Hygiene


Stainless steel is a popular choice worldwide as a durable material suitable for many different applications. It distinguishes itself from plain steel, iron and copper by its resistance to corrosion. Exposure to water and air causes rust and oxidation with many other metals, but with stainless steel there is no effect at all - items remain unblemished for the duration of their life. 


Hygiene and Safety
Normally, metal in good condition has a smooth surface, making it very easy to clean. Rust spots cause the metal to become pitting, increasing the surface area by a surprisingly large amount and providing space for unwelcome bacteria and microbes to breed. This is particularly undesirable for cutlery and cooking implements. 
Where cutting tools are concerned, rust can be very dangerous. These tools carry the risk of piercing the skin, or may even be designed for this purpose for example in the case of surgical scalpels. Tetanus is a major problem associated with rust - though it does not directly cultivate the tetanus bacterium, it does provide a prime habitat for it. Stainless steel surgical implements totally avoid this issue by being rust-proof.
This wonder metal has been specifically designed with rust-resistance in mind. It is formulated as an allow of chromium and steel. Generally the metal contains only 10-15% chromium, but this is enough to provide immunity against oxidation by the usual combination of water and oxygen. The chromium in the metal forms a protective film of chromium oxide, which effectively blocks iron oxide from forming and spreading destructively deep into the material.

Flexibility
Because stainless steel is rust resistant, it can be used in a variety of ways that are impractical or expensive with ordinary steel. Piping is a great example. Many pipe systems can get away with using PVC and copper. For lower volume needs at low to moderately hot temperatures, these work perfectly well. For a system under greater stress from constant high temperatures and high volume, steel is a more durable choice. Stainless steel is perfectly suited for the job as it combines the strength and high melting point of plain steel with corrosion resistance that means the insides of pipes stay in working order for many years. A food processing plant, for example, would greatly benefit from the hygiene benefits of stainless steel pipework.

Environmental Considerations
Use of metals can be considered more environmentally friendly than many plastics due to the ease with which they can be recycled. Though it is not biodegradable, stainless steel can be melted down to be reused.

Aesthetic Considerations
Aside from the numerous hygiene and durability benefits, stainless steel is also very pleasing to look at. The chrome/iron combination leads to a pleasingly shiny, bright surface and of course the corrosion resistance ensures that the surface stays as good as new. This makes the material particularly desirable for any item that is on display in the home or in the workplace. 
Altogether, stainless steel presents a combination of strength, aesthetics and hygiene that make it a superb choice for tools, containersComputer Technology Articles, machinery and countless other applications.

Source: Free Articles from ArticlesFactory.com

ABOUT THE AUTHOR



Graeme is writing on behalf of catering sinks manufacturer Teknomek



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