Getting to know Stainless Steel

At a glance

  • Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, carbon and chromium – but there are over 100 types
  • In addition to its many advantages that benefit various applications, stainless steel is 100% recyclable
  • Samsung C&T operates stainless steel production plants

Look around the average home and you’re bound to find stainless steel. It’s one of the most common materials found in kitchens, for example – in pots, kettles, silverware, and knives. Stainless steel is great for these products because it’s light and easy to clean. It’s also hygienic because it doesn’t rust easily.

Yet, that barely scratches the surface of what stainless steel has to offer. You might well wonder where this seemingly supermaterial comes from and how it’s able to deliver so many advantages. After all, it’s not a raw material you can just find in the ground.

Let’s explore the diversity and importance of stainless steel through our “getting to know” series.

How much do you know about stainless steel?

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, carbon, and chromium, with a number of other elements often added.

While iron has been used by people for thousands of years, the steel breakthrough came when iron was alloyed with carbon. In the 19th century, chromium was also added to the mix, as scientific research discovered various benefits of doing this and soon we saw stainless steel being patented and manufactured.

So, let’s take a closer look at how stainless steel is made along with its characteristics and applications.

A resistant market built on strength

There are no signs of rust in the stainless steel market. Over the past 20 years, the world has produced around 670 million metric tons of stainless steel, with annual production rising from 19 million tons to over 50 million tons. No other product has enjoyed this level of growth.

We see positive data continually emerging in terms of this material’s market outlook too – for example, the global stainless steel market reached almost US$143.5 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.8% from 2023 to 2028 to reach nearly US$212.95 billion by 2028.

Where does Samsung C&T fit in?

In recent years, we have had the pleasure of introducing some of Samsung C&T Trading & Investment Group’s stainless steel operations – including production bases in Europe and China.

In addition to stainless steel plants, Samsung C&T T&I Group is involved in a range of global steel trading operations across nearly 40 countries. The company’s other steel products comprise automotive steel, silicon steel, plate steel and hot- and cold-rolled variations, welded and seamless pipes, metal rebar, pre-painted varieties, and more. Among all of these, stainless steel will continue to play an important role as its advantages support vital applications worldwide, with the durability to last.

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