Buying stainless steel products in Toronto
Steel, more specifically stainless steel, has become the most prevalent building material in use today. The probability is very high that you either drive a car made of steel, live in a house that has some steel in it, or see steel products somewhere during your typical day. But what is steel, really? What makes stainless steel different from normal steel? Are there any other variants of steel? What do you look for when buying steel products? Here is an overview on how steel and stainless steel are manufactured and fabricated in Toronto and other parts of the world, and what to look for when buying them.
Steel and stainless steel: An overview
Steel is not an element. It is actually an alloy, meaning, it comes from two different materials melted together. Steel's main component is iron with some carbon added as a hardening agent. Iron itself has been used since 4000 B.C., long before the complex processes of smelting and reshaping were established. Steel came about much later, around 1200 B.C. Smiths all throughout Fertile Crescent noticed that iron that is repeatedly melted and re-forged becomes stronger and higher in quality than before. Because of the presence of carbon monoxide in the fire, iron became steel little by little.
Stainless steel is also composed of iron and carbon, but a layer of chromium is added for increased rust resistance and sheen. The layer of chromium forms on the surface of the steel. Since it is so thin, it is invisible to the naked eye, but it leaves its trademark luster on the surface of the steel. When it comes in contact with air, this layer forms a scratch and rust-resistant skin called chromium oxide.
Finding stainless steel products in Toronto
One of the leading manufacturers and exporters of customized stainless steel products in Toronto is Custom Stainless Products Inc., located along Canso Road . This company specializes in custom stainless steel furniture for laboratories and institutions. They also address stainless steel requirements for plumbing applications.
Fairview Fittings and Manufacturing Limited is another leading Toronto-based stainless steel product manufacturer, exporter and distrubutor. They specialize in stainless steel industrial fittings, but also manufacture hose assemblies, valves, and screw machine products.
What to look for in your stainless steel product
Make sure your stainless steel product has a natural shine to it. This is proof that the chromium layer is present. Ask the fabricator if it has at least twelve percent chromium present in the material. This is the minimum amount for steel to be called stainless steel.
Finally, find out what the ratio is between carbon and iron in the basic steel alloy. Generally, an alloy composed of 2.1 percent carbon is fit to be called steel. As the carbon content increases, the metal becomes harder but also more brittle. For example, if you need a steel product that can be shaped to form a wire or rope, you will probably want an alloy with low carbon content. However, if you are looking for steel girders for a building, an alloy with a higher carbon content will suit your needs.
Keep these things in mind when selecting the steel product that suits your needs best. There are many manufacturers and fabricators of stainless steel products the Toronto area. It should not be hard to find exactly what you are looking for.