With so many countries developing and fine-tuning their stainless steel industries, it¡¯s now come down to quality, price, and dependability. China¡¯s stainless steel industry is under attack for under-cutting local suppliers with cheap pricing and often poor quality. Japan has managed to maintain its quality but is struggling with the effects of the tremendous earthquake that struck the country 2 years ago. Europe is in the process of streamlining its steel industry because of lower demands, and parts of Asia and America are trying to cope with the fluctuating demands and supply for the stainless steel industry.
Shine and Finish
The shine and finish of quality stainless steel products happen because of the use of a steel alloy with chromium. The average content of chromium is anywhere from 10.5 to 11%. This combination also lends an anti-corrosive characteristic to stainless steel. Compared to galvanized steel which has a thin layer of molten zinc added, stainless steel lasts longer and retains its shine over the year as long as proper maintenance or use is followed.
Low to Zero Maintenance Costs
Quality stainless steel does not rust. Galvanized steel can rust if its zinc layer has been penetrated. This means the cost of maintaining stainless steel is relatively simple. When you buy stainless steel, you really can¡¯t compare it with galvanized steel if only for this reason.
There are dozens of applications for stainless steel. It is used in many industries as either raw material or finishing. Stainless tubing is often used in buildings like support for stairs or guard railings, in furniture, bathroom and kitchen fixtures, in automotive and factories that use equipment or parts exposed to high heat. It is in high demand by the chemical, aviation, petrochemical, textile, medical, and industrial applications because specific customization is necessary in almost all cases.
With so many uses possible for stainless steel, the demand may fluctuate but never dip so low as to decimate the industry. Thus, despite the challenges that stainless steel companies around the world are going through, the general sentiment among business experts is that the industry is as stable as fuel and oil, food and pharmaceuticals, and other similarly critical industries.