This is an abridged version of a story that first appeared under the same title in Stainless Steel Focus No. 07/2012.
The Nickel Institute's director of promotion, Peter Cutler, and consultant Gary Coates, reveal some of the reasons for the continuing popularity of nickel in stainless steels.
Stainless steel is everywhere in our world and contributes to all aspects of our lives. We find stainless steel in our homes, in our buildings and offices, in the vehicles we travel in and in every imaginable industrial sector. Yet the first patents for stainless steel were issued only 100 years ago.
How did this metal become so desirable over the past century that more than 32 million tonnes was produced in 2011? And how does nickel, a vital alloying element in most stainless steel alloys, contribute to the high demand for stainless steel?