2 Raw MaterialsThe materials that go into stainless steel are iron ore, chromium, silicon, nickel, carbon, nitrogen and manganese found in the earth’s surface and they are the basic elements.Nitrogen, for instance improves tensile properties like ductility.It also improves corrosion resistance which makes it valuable for use in duplex stainless steels.
4 Melting & CastingThe raw materials are first melted together in an electric furnace. In this step it usually takes 8 to 12 hours of intense heat. When the melting is finished, the steel that is molten is cast into semi-finished forms.These include blooms (rectangular shapes), billets (round or square shapes 1.5 inches or 3.8 centimeters in thickness), slabs, rods, and tube rounds.
5 FormingNext, the semi-finished steel goes through forming operations, beginning with hot rolling, in which the steel is heated and passed through huge rolls. Blooms and billets are formed into bar and wire, while slabs are formed into plate, strip, and sheet.
6 Heat TreatmentAfter the stainless steel is formed, most types must go through an annealing step. Annealing is a heat treatment in which the steel is heated and cooled under controlled conditions to relieve internal stresses and soften the metal.
7 DescalingAnnealing causes a scale or build-up to form on the steel. The scale can be removed using several processes. One of the most common methods, pickling, uses a nitric-hydrofluoric acid bath to descale the steel.
8 Cutting Mechanical cutting uses straight shearing guillotine knives. Circle shearing uses circular knives horizontally and vertically positionedSawing using high speed steel blades, blanking, and nibbling.Blanking uses metal punches and it dies to punches out the shapeNibbling is the process of cutting by blanking out a series of overlapping holes.
9 FinishingLook at this picture it shows the steps on how it is finished.
10 End userAfter the stainless steel is in various forms it is then packed and shipped to the fabricator or end user.Further shaping is required and it is done by rolling, pressing, forging, press drawing, and extrusion.Heat treating, machining, and cleaning processes are also often required.
11 Renewable or Nonrenewable Iron ore is nonrenewableSilicon is a renewable resourceNickel is nonrenewableCarbon is nonrenewableChromium is nonrenewable because it has to be mined.Manganese is a renewable resource.Nitrogen is nonrenewable.