Have you ever thought about what an engineering structure, the food industry, and surgeries all have in common? Could these vastly different activities be at all similar?
The answer is, yes! At first thought, perhaps not, but if you think about a big bridge connecting two cities, a jar of mayonnaise, and a heart surgery are all connected by one thing: stainless steel.
Stainless steel is alloy metal. An alloy is a material that has been melded with at least two other distinct elements. Generally, to make stainless steel, these additional elements are iron and carbon, though they can differ.
An alloy is normally used to improve the properties of the base metal. Properties such as wear resistance, rust resistance, and aesthetic appeal, among others. This makes stainless steel an ideal material to use when industries need to make a product with these same characteristics.
How do these industries all use stainless steel?
Connecting two cities or even countries is not an easy job. Imagine what a bridge has to handle: rain, the heat and the cold, sun, storms, dampness and lack of humidity. Not only are bridges exposed to the elements, but they must bear massive amounts of weight. This is why modern bridges are made with stainless steel. Not only for them to be aesthetically pleasing but also to withstand all that they must resist.
This industry supplies the packaged and processed food that is consumed worldwide. Food doesn’t just come from the farm to the table anymore. It has quite a long journey before it makes it to the grocery store and then on to our homes.
One of these steps is food processing. These processes are strictly regulated, especially in mass production plants. In order to maintain the highest level of hygiene and cleanliness, cookware and equipment must be made with materials with corrosion resistance and which can be easily disinfected. Meat slicers, countertops, and other equipment such as a ribbon mixer must be easily sterilized without suffering damage or deterioration. Stainless steel is the solution.
Surgeries instruments also have to be easily cleaned and constantly sterilized, as any foreign body or bacteria can have dire consequences in surgical settings. Most surgical instruments are made from stainless steel.
No matter how distant a ribbon mixer, a bridge, or a scalpel may seem, in reality, they can also be connected by that one unique metal: stainless steel.