Stainless steelIndustry and commerce have a perennial need for stainless steel and other metals. Amateur scrappers working with scrap metal recyclers can earn well if they are persistent and dedicated.

However, some do not bother to learn as much as they can about the items they collect. Perhaps, this is a good time to take a closer look at stainless steel, one of the most ubiquitous and sellable metals today.

Origins and properties of stainless steel

Stainless steel is an essential component of electronics and appliances, a primary ingredient in the construction of roofs and walls, and is the material of choice for production, food storage, and transport applications. The use of stainless steel can be scaled to greater structures. Some buildings are made entirely from this material, including the Chrysler Building in New York City and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.

There are two types of stainless steel, ferritic and austenitic. The former is magnetic, while the latter is not, and this is the form that is used more popularly. That said, scrappers will discover that 70 percent of the stainless steel they collect has no magnetic properties.

Recycling stainless steel

Stainless steel is one of the most “green” metals and as much as 60 percent of the material used in commercial steel products is from recycled metal. Local recycling facilities collect as much stainless steel as they can. Recycling has numerous environmental and economic benefits. The people of New Zealand are already reaping the rewards of metal recycling with less energy consumption and decreasing use of virgin ore.

The specific combination of chromium steel discovered by Harry Brearley in 1913 eventually became popular as stainless steel. It was intended for use as a material to make better weapons. The ductile capabilities of stainless steel make it one of the most versatile materials in the world. It can change its shape when exposed to different temperatures. It can be turned into different forms easily as well.