Retail 101: 7 Benefits Of Stainless Steel Products

retail store benefits stainless steel products shop equipment

No matter where you shop for tools, there’s always one shiny product that never fails to catch your eye, and it’s almost always made from stainless steel. From the pieces of equipment at work, or the kitchen fixtures in your home, this ubiquitous metal forms part of nearly every industrial, residential, and personal product. 

Highly versatile and cheap, it doesn't come as a surprise that this type of metal is highly preferred as a raw material by several industries and retailers. Construction buildings, bridges, kitchen sinks and utensils, and transportation units rely on stainless steel as the principal material. 

If you’re planning major projects at home or work, consider having steel as the main component.  Keep reading to find out what stainless steel is, what its benefits are, how it can help retail stores, and which industries typically use this type of metal. 

What Is Stainless Steel? 

Because of its versatility, the stainless steel market is projected to reach $170.62 Billion by 2027, according to industry estimates. This type of metal is crafted by mixing low carbon steel with chromium comprising at least 10% of its total weight. The addition of chromium provides stainless steel with highly favorable properties such as toughness and resistance to corrosion. Stainless steel’s corrosive-fighting trait comes from the formation of chromium oxide on the metal’s surface. 

In some applications, the low-carbon steel and chromium alloy is mixed with other elements such as nickel, nitrogen, and molybdenum, which strengthens its corrosion-resistant properties. 

Uses Of Stainless Steel 

Because of its high tensile strength, flexibility, and anti-corrosive properties, stainless steel can be used in many industrial and manufacturing applications. The different types of stainless steel alloys supply different products for the following industries: 

• Architecture and Infrastructure (buildings, bridges, roads) 
• Artworks (i.e., sculptures) 
• Vehicles and Aircrafts Jewelry (accessories) 
• Culinary (sinks, kitchen utensils) 
• Surgical tools and medical equipment 

One of the most in-demand stainless products is office equipment, more specifically, stainless steel cabinets. You can use these cabinets indoors, outdoors, or even in warehouses. It's one of the most preferred storage solutions among various industries. 

7 Top Benefits Of Stainless Steel 

1. Strength 

Stainless steel remains strong whether in extremely high or very low temperatures, making it one of the most sought-after metals in the market. This alloy is likewise highly durable. Despite being lightweight and thin, it can withstand heavy weights and high-impact collisions. This metal is also resilient to harsh weather conditions, making it perfect for the construction industry. 

2. Resistance To Fire And Heat 

Stainless steel alloys have high durability and resistance to scaling even at dangerously high temperatures. Because of this property, stainless steel is used in creating pieces of important factory equipment, water heaters, as well as vehicle and aircraft. 

3. Cleanliness 

Bacteria and other pathogens are less likely to reproduce on a stainless steel surface, making it a hygienic type of metal. Additionally, stainless steel is easy to wipe clean with disinfectants and cleaners. These features make stainless steel the choice of medical facilities, kitchens and food processing plants, and other retail businesses. 

4. Corrosion Resistance 

Water damage, rust, corrosion, and other common issues among metals don’t affect stainless steel products. This is because of the invisible chromium oxide that forms and coats the metal and shields it from these damaging elements. Other elements such as nickel and molybdenum also improve stainless steel’s corrosion-resistant properties. 

5. Self-Healing Property 

This one’s quite surprising. Remember the chromium oxide film mentioned earlier? Apparently, the film has the capacity to heal itself. Minor mechanical and chemical damages may be fixed over time once the metal is exposed to oxygen. 

6. Eco-Friendly 

In the United States, more than half of the newly manufactured stainless steel is made from recycled scrap metal. This means that used stainless steel that is either damaged or has been thrown out, doesn’t end up in landfills forever. 

7. Cost-Effectiveness 

Despite its various positive attributes: durability, corrosion resistance, strength, and cleanliness, stainless steel provides the best value for money. Aside from these properties, it doesn’t cost much to maintain the quality of this type of metal. 

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Types Of Stainless Steel 

There are over 60 stainless steel grades, widely divided into 5 categories below: 

1. Austenitic 

These are the most commonly used stainless steel. They have higher chromium compared to other types of steel alloys. Austenitic stainless steel is non-magnetic and used predominantly in the automotive, cookware, and other commercial equipment and manufacturing applications. 

2. Duplex

This relatively new category of stainless steel is the byproduct of mixing austenitic and ferritic steel materials. As such, it generates better strength and resistance to stress, corrosion, and cracking. In addition to these characteristics, duplex stainless steel products are tougher yet have better fusing capacities when nitrogen is added to the mix. 

3. Ferritic

This second most common stainless steel alloy resists scaling and cracking even in high temperatures. They are magnetic and typically used in making sinks and automotive applications. Ferritic stainless steel can be hardened through cold working. Because of reduced nickel content, this type is also less costly than other types. 

4. Martensitic

These types have less corrosion resistance compared to other alloy steels, but they are harder and more resilient against wear and tear. This alloy is ideal for items that require high-impact and tensile strength, such as cutlery and multipurpose tools. 

5. Precipitation-Hardening (PH)

The construction industry is the end-user for this alloy that is predominantly used for steel bars, rods, and wires, among other products. This alloy is said to display unparalleled strength, ease of heat treatment, and corrosion resistance. 

Final Thoughts On Stainless Steel Products For Retailers

Stainless steel makes a very useful and versatile metal alloy for big box retailers, e-commerce warehouses, and small retail shops. As a strong, low-maintenance, corrosion-resistant, sleek, cost-effective, and fully recyclable metal, stainless steel may be every manufacturer's dream metal.

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