What Makes Stainless Steel a Sustainable Material?

Stainless, Steel, Sustainability

Sustainable

 

People

The material, in its use or in its production process, respects
the human being, especially in terms of health and safety.
A sustainable material does not harm the people working
to produce it, or the people who handle it during its use,
recycling and ultimate disposal.
Stainless steel is not harmful to people during either its
production or use. A protective layer forms naturally on all
stainless steels because of the inclusion of chromium. The
passive layer protects the steel from corrosion – ensuring a
long life. As long as the correct grade of stainless is selected
for an application, the steel remains inert and harmless to the
people who handle it and the environment.
These characteristics have made stainless steel the primary
material in medical, food processing, household and catering
applications.

Planet

The emission footprints of the material, especially those related
to carbon, water and air, are minimised. Reuse and recyclability
are at high levels. The material has low maintenance costs and
a long life, both key indicators that the impact of the material
on the planet is at the lowest levels possible.
The electric arc furnace (EAF), the main process used to
make stainless steels, is extremely efficient. An EAF has a low
impact on the environment in terms of both CO2 and other
emissions. The EAF is also extremely efficient at processing
scrap stainless, ensuring that new stainless steel has an
average recycled content of more than 60%.
Stainless steels are easily recycled to produce more stainless
steels and this process can be carried on indefinitely. It is
estimated that about 80% of stainless steels are recycled at
the end of their life. As stainless steel has a high intrinsic
value, it is collected and recycled without any economic
incentives from the public purse.

Profit

The industries producing the material show long-term
sustainability and growth, provide excellent reliability and
quality for their customers, and ensure a solid and reliable
supply-chain to the end consumer.
Choosing the right stainless steel grade for an application
ensures that it will have low maintenance costs, a long life and
be easy to recycle at the end of that life. This makes stainless an
economical choice in consumer durables (such as refrigerators
and washing machines) and in capital goods applications (such
as transportation, chemical and process applications).
Stainless steels also have better mechanical properties than
most metals. Its fire and corrosion resistance make stainless
a good choice in transportation, building or public works such
as railways, subways, tunnels and bridges. These properties,
together with stainless steel’s mechanical behaviour, are of
prime importance in these applications to ensure human
beings are protected and maintenance costs are kept low.
Stainless also has an aesthetically pleasing appearance,
making it the material of choice in demanding architectural
and design projects.

Taking into account its recyclability, reuse, long life, low
maintenance and product safety, the emissions from the
production and use of stainless steels are minimal when
compared to any other alternative material. A detailed and
precise analysis of the sustainability of stainless steel makes
the choice of stainless a logical one. This might explain why,
as society and governments are becoming more conscious of
environmental and economic factors, the growth in the use of
stainless steel has been the highest of any material in the world.

Sited: WorldStainless

Ashley G. // Editor SMC

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An Industry Built On Innovation

Packaging, Stainless, Steel, Sustainability

Steel Packaging

 

Steel Can
The steel can was invented more than 200 years ago.

Cans were first used as containers for food during the Napoleonic wars. The idea for preserving food by heating it in containers was developed by Nicolas Appert. He used glass jars, which were sent to French troops on the Russian front. In 1810, British merchant Peter Durand was granted the patent for a method of preserving food and other perishable items using vessels made of various materials, including steel.

Not surprisingly, food safety is still one of the most important benefits of canned food packaging.

However, food storage is only one of the many applications of steel packaging.

Steel packaging is durable, tamper-resistant and convenient. It is also ‘shelf-stable’, meaning that it can protect the contents from deterioration for a long time. In addition to these attributes, the steel used in packaging also has an aesthetic function. After all, packaging is designed not only to store the product but also to advertise it to the consumer.

An industry built on innovation

In some countries, steel cans are also referred to as tin cans or simply tins. There are thousands of applications, from the familiar soft drink can to unusually-shaped paint tins that are easy to hold in one hand and retro designer biscuit tins. Steel packaging is used for:

  • Food
  • Beverages
  • Promotional materials
  • Aerosols
  • Paints and chemicals
  • Bottle tops and caps

The majority of steel used in packaging is tinplate, which is steel that has been coated with a layer of tin to prevent corrosion. Although tinplate only accounts for around 1% of steel production, it is a highly visible and dynamic industry. Brands and products compete for consumers’ attention on the shelves of supermarkets and other retailers.

The manufacturing processes used in steel packaging are high-tech and sophisticated. Commercial production began in 1812, in a canning factory near London that supplied food to the British army. In 1846, cans were manufactured at the rate of 60 an hour. Modern can-makers can produce up to 1,000 cans a minute.

Once the steel is coated with tin, the tinplate can be coated with polymer, lacquered and printed. The final result is an attractive, safe and functional product.

Highly recyclable

Steel holds a unique position as a sustainable packaging material because it is 100% recyclable. Steel cans are the most recycled form of packaging. A significant proportion of all the steel in a can comes from recycled sources.

 

Cited: World Steel

Ashley G. // Editor SMC

SMC A Company You Can Trust

Uncategorized

ISO9001:2008


SMC is certified with ISO 9001:2008, this guarantees you can trust us to get consistent, good quality products and services.  This standard is based on a number of quality management principles including a strong customer focus, the motivation and implication of top management, the process approach and continual improvement.

Internal audits are regularly conducted to check ensure the quality management system is working efficiently.  Next time you think of purchasing high quality stainless steel think Shanghai Metal Corporation.

bv_Certification

 

Ashley G. // Editor SMC