In common language, stainless steel is often attributed with rustproof properties. But are stainless steels actually always rustproof?
Unfortunately, this is not the case, because strictly speaking the required properties only apply to the subgroup of stainless steels. Stainless steel is a steel of special purity, which is specified in the EN 10020 standard. If stainless steel lacks chromium, it will rust in the same way as conventional steel. Only above a certain amount of chromium does a stainless steel become a rust-resistant steel.
Stainless steels can be found in a wide range of applications today. Over 50.9 million tons of stainless steel were produced worldwide in 2020 alone. Compared with many other materials, stainless steels are characterized by good corrosion resistance, withstanding even mechanical or abrasive stress.
The requirements for stainless steels are a minimum of 10.5% chromium and a maximum of 1.2% carbon.