Everybody today has handled stainless steel in some form or another. In fact, it is so commonplace that most people don’t even think about it. Because the iron and other elements that make up the steel are combined with chromium, it is rust-resistant and that is the main reason it is referred to as stainless.
Tools of all kinds that you or people you know handle every day are made of stainless steel. Do you know some of the most common items made of this versatile material? If you were playing Family Feud, you may have popped right out with “Silverware!” as the most popular item made of this metal alloy. However, would you also guess that eyeglasses, scissors, watch bodies and pocketknives are made of steel?
Many mechanics prefer to use tools made of stainless because there is less likelihood that particles of the tool will scrape off and contaminate what is being worked on or cause corrosion. In addition, stainless steel can be recycled, so it is good for the environment. You are likely to find wrenches, pliers, ratchets, chisels, screwdrivers and many more tools in this category.
Although you may not be thinking about it when the surgeon is cutting into your knee while doing a replacement for your arthritis-ridden joint, he or she is most likely using an ASTM F899 or surgical-grade stainless steel tool. This grade of metal is highly resistant to corrosion so that it is less likely to introduce infection when being used for surgery. Some common instruments used for surgery are scissors, scalpels, forceps, clamps and saws.
As you can see, the uses for this product are many and varied. The grades of stainless steel are also diverse, and depending on which alloys are combined, the instruments created can fill specific purposes. Whether it’s just an eating utensil or a life-saving surgical instrument, stainless steel is a part of everyday life.