Stainless steel is a common name for a large family of quality steel species which, due to the chromium content of at least 11%, are resistant to chemical or electrochemical damage to the surrounding environment. In the language of professionals, this property is called corrosion resistance.
The chromium contained in the steel, reacting with oxygen found in the air, forms a layer of chromium oxide invisible to the naked eye, which protects the steel from corrosion factors. The protective layer, mechanically damaged or chemically damaged, rediscovers the oxygen after re-incontact with oxygen. This occurs even in an environment as oxygen-poor as ordinary water.
The higher chromium content of steel gives better corrosion resistance. This resistance is further increased after the addition of molybdenum. Nickel is designed to achieve the austenic structure of steel, which facilitates its cold plastic treatment and welding.
The most prevalent are austenitic chromium-nickel steels type 18/8, containing about 18% chromium and 8% nickel. They account for more than 50% of the world's stainless steel production. For example, 18/8 are used for the production of household goods (m.in. for the production of household kitchen seating and collective food equipment and in construction, both indoor and outdoor components.