Once regarded as a very expensive material for everyday articles in the home and office, stainless steel has emerged in recent years as highly desirable and yet easily affordable. As the cost of stainless steel, in relation to that of competing materials, has reduced progressively over the years, so designers and manufacturers have exploited its attractive properties to provide all of us with countless functional products for use indoors and outdoors.

Examples which come readily to mind are the kitchen sink and the humble saucepan. Stainless steel has become the material of choice for these applications and is no longer accessible only to the “high-end” consumer.

While sinks and tableware provided the introduction to stainless steel for many consumers, these were quickly followed by cutlery and tableware and, more recently, by ranges, ovens, work-surfaces and mixing appliances.

This library section will not only illustrate how stainless steel is improving the appearance and functionality of our kitchens but also why its special hygienic properties help protect the purity and safety of our food.




This sections looks into stainless steel applications in mining and quarrying, the chemical and petrochemical industries, power generation, electrical engineering and the food and beverage industries.




More information on the use of stainless steels in automotive, railway, shipbuilding and aerospace applications.




The architectural possibilities for stainless steel were recognised within only a few years of its discovery early in the 20th century. Highly-visible proof can be found in such well-known structures as the roof of the Chrysler Building in New York and the canopy of the Savoy Hotel in London. For a while, the relative high cost and limited availability of the material restricted is application to “flagship” buildings of this type for which the cost was a secondary consideration.

However, in recent decades, that perspective has changed dramatically as the cost of stainless steel, in relation to that of competing materials, has become much lower, while many new grades and product forms are now widely available all over the world. No longer is it viewed purely as a “decorative” option for facades, shop fronts, lift and escalator panels and so on, but, in many instances, it is part of the unseen but vital fabric of a building or structure. Notable examples are fittings for interior plumbing, fixing components for the attachment of stone facades and the use of stainless steel reinforcing bars for concrete structures, for which a long design-life is specified.

In this part of the library, you will find many of the architectural and structural applications which have made this industrial sector the highest-growth market for many types of stainless steel.



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