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Published On: Fri, May 1st, 2015

Stainless Steel Fad Not Fading

Decorating fads come and go. Think back to the gorgeous colors of the 1970’s. Avocado, mustard and the accompanying trim colors were very popular. Thank heavens they gave way to new colors and choices. Eventually stainless steel became a material of choice. It has gone from coffee pots and tea kettles to appliances and backsplashes. The trend just continues to grow. Most decorators think it will keep growing because of the combination of aesthetics and durability. Stainless steel is both beauty and the beast; and it looks like it is sticking around for the duration. Here are some of the reasons for it to stay at the top of the materials list:

Durability

Engineers like a material that is strong, and can withstand bending, heat and chemicals. Steel can do all that. In fact, structural steel rates 400 MPa in tensile strength. Stainless is stronger at 860 MPa’s. For comparison, aluminum is 483 MPa’s and pine wood is 40 MPa’s. Steel’s strength is great, but it can rust.

Stainless won’t rust and is therefore a great alternative to steel. It’s tensile strength is even better than regular steel. Engineers know this is a material that they can truly work with. Stainless can stand up to moisture and chemicals. It can maintain weight bearing loads and keep people safe. Stainless steel is a material that can last and it is very easily manufactured into the specifications needed. It is reliable, readily available, and relatively inexpensive.

Detailed look at the Chrysler Building art deco  photo/ Liftarn via wikimedia

Detailed look at the Chrysler Building art deco photo/ Liftarn via wikimedia

Beauty:  More than Skin Deep

If you add about 10-11% chromium to steel, you get stainless steel. After this is exposed to oxygen, the chromium makes a film of chromium oxide that then covers the entire surface of the stainless steel. If it’s scratched or cut, the film regenerates to make a seamless covering. This is what keeps stainless steel from rusting. It is non-toxic and non-reactive. It’s also what makes stainless steel great for coffee pots, tea kettles and other cookware applications.

You may have been told as a child that beauty is only skin deep. That is not the case with stainless steel. It is as strong as it is beautiful and it is as strong as steel. Stainless steel’s look lends itself to almost every application imaginable from jewelry to monuments. Cookware designers and fine artists have chosen to work in stainless.

Lasting Style

What diner doesn’t have stainless steel?  Even the Chrysler Building in New York sports a stainless steel pinnacle. Guns are made of it. The Arch in St. Louis is made from stainless steel. These icons have been around for a long time and have lent their style to the material itself. Stainless steel is synonymous with the mid-century modern industrial style. A touch of stainless in a couple locations in your kitchen instantly updates it. You instantly add an updated look and join in the trend that doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.

Guest Author: Lolita Di

 

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