Stainless steel was invented in the early part of the 20th century. The key ingredient is chrome which forms a protective oxide film on the surface. Originally called non-rusting steel, stainless steel amazed consumers because it did not need to me polished. SBS Forge claims that today the concept has not lost its luster.
Stainless steel, scarp, chrome and nickel
Steel forging makes the metal look shiny and new even though it starts from scrap. Old stainless steel is recycled to make new. Tones of scrap steel are fed into a roaring furnace along chrome and nickel aloes for added strength and rust proving. Mix to the melting point, creating a dramatic fireworks display in the process. After several hours, the molted mix goes into another furnace. Some impurities are converted into gas and others float to the surface for easy removal. A technician regularly checks the temperature and takes samples to make sure the chemistry is right.
From scrap to slab
The bubbling steel soup now flows at a refining furnace. Rollers guide it as it casts into a long mold. The result is a 75 yard long ribbon on steel. Torches cut it into shorter chunks. According to SBS Forge, a worker writes identification marks on each one then the chunks are taken to another station for further processing. The chunks are reheated for more processing. By now, a rusty scale has accumulated on the surface. The scale is removed without cooling the hot metal.
Meeting customer specifications
The slab shoots back and forth through a machine with rollers. A constant spray cools the rollers as they stretch the steel longer and thinner. It is now over 650 yards long. A spay of water cools the stretched steel a little but not too much because it needs to be soft and flexible enough for coiling.
A roll of steel is created and transferred to another station. Here the steel goes into a hot acid wash that removes scale that has built up since the last cleaning. SBS Forge indicates the steel is now unwounded to a machine that roles it to the customer’s specified thickness, rolling the metal when it is cold. Finally, rotating knives trim the edges and cut the steel to various widths, again, to meet business and customer specifications.