What is stainless steel?

A stainless steel is defined as a steel which contains more than 10.5% of chromium. As with many developments, this level of chromium was identified over a series of adhoc experiments. According to history, Harry Brearley was investigating steels with improved wear resistance for use as gun barrels, working for Firth Rixson in Sheffield, UK. Adding more chromium not only improved his samples wear resistance, but improved their resistance to attack by numerous solutions. He subsequently refined his experiments with the help of a friend, who happened to be operating a cutlery factory. When completing tests normally reserved for cutlery, they found that their alloys were very resistant to corrosion and staining.

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