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How is Stainless Steel Made?

Stainless steel alloys are well known for their stellar properties. For instance, grade 304 stainless steel is best known for its high resistance to corrosion, while grade 430 stainless steel is best known for its hardness once it’s annealed and stress-relieved.

But how exactly is stainless steel made, and how does it come to possess such incredible properties? 

What is Stainless Steel?

Before delving into how stainless steel is made, it's important first to understand its composition.  For steel to be considered as stainless steel, it must contain at least 10.5% chromium.

Other components like nickel, carbon, manganese, nitrogen, sulfur, and copper can be added depending on the grade of stainless steel. The exact amount of these components varies depending on the application of stainless steel.