Stainless steel which is also known as inox steel or inox is a steel alloy. Stainless steel is metal alloy that contains minimum of 10.5% or more chromium and also contains more than 50% of iron. Stainless steel exhibits high resistance to stain and oxidation in air at ambient temperatures. Stainless steel is a dark metal that looks bright owing to its high light reflecting properties. Unlike steel, stainless steel does not corrode, rust or stain when it comes in contact with water. Wide range of stainless steel grades are available which offer surface finishes to suite the specific requirements of various applications and environment. Stainless steel is highly resistant to acid attacks. However, hydrochloric acid will damage any kind of stainless steel and hence, has to be avoided. Stainless steel when exposed to stronger bases such as sodium hydroxide is more likely to experience cracking and etching especially with the chloride containing chemicals. However, stainless steel remains unaffected by any of the weak bases which include ammonium hydroxide even at high concentrations and high temperatures. Stainless steel is a poor conductor of electricity and has only few percent of electric conductivity owing to the presence of copper in them. Martensitic and Ferritic are few of the stainless steels that exhibit magnetic properties. Stainless steel finds a wide range of applications in the construction, automobile, chemical and house hold appliances industries.
Increasing population coupled with rising economies is expected to boost the overall growth of the construction industry. The construction industry consumes of about 50% of the overall stainless steel manufactured. Stainless steel is widely used in the construction of buildings, bridges and other architectural structures. Thus, the growing construction industry is expected to boost the overall demand for the stainless steel market. Changing lifestyle and increasing purchasing power is expected to boost the overall demand for the automobile industry. Increasing government regulations towards carbon emissions is expected to boost the overall demand for the light weight vehicles. Thus, there is an increase in demand for stainless steel in manufacturing automobiles which is extremely recyclable and thus in turn is environmental favorable in nature. There is an increase in demand for developing light weight, high tensile strength stainless steel. Thus, the growing automobile industry is expected to augment the overall growth of the stainless steel market.
Asia Pacific is the largest manufacturer as well consumer of stainless steel. The presence of large number of stainless steel manufacturers in China is further expected to boost the overall growth of the stainless steel market. The presence of huge raw material reserves in various countries in Asia Pacific is further expected to boost the market in near future. Asia Pacific is followed by Europe. The presence of many automobile manufacturers in the region is expected to augment the demand for stainless steel in the region. The demand for stainless steel is expected to grow gradually in the North America. Rest of the world is expected to experience sluggish growth in the demand for stainless steel.
ArcelorMittal, ThyssenKrupp Stainless, Acerinox, TISCO, Outokumpu, Allegheny, AK Steel, INI Steel and POSCO are the major participants of the global stainless steel market. The companies are mainly focused towards developing light weight high tensile strength stainless steel. The company also strives to increase their production efficiency in order to achieve competitive advantage in the market.
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