The history of stainless steel:
Long before the turn of the century, scientists discovered
that by adding nickel and chrome, the corrosion behaviour
of steel could be improved, but certain steels enriched
with these elements left a lot to be desired.
The decisive breakthrough occured in 1912 in Germany.
Through the combination of nickel and chrome combined with
an exactly adapted heat treatment, it was possible for the
first time to achieve an optimum of corrosion resistance as
well as good mechanical characteristics. The then created
terms V2A (CrNi-steel) and V4A (CrNiMo-steel) using V for
the German word "Versuch" = trial round and A= austenit
are still used today as synonyms for stainless steel.
Above all, the metallic shine of it's surface was the
reason why the American automobile tycoon Walter Chrysler
crowned his in the meantime world famous Chrysler Building
in New York, with stainless steel in the late 20's. This
was the first use of stainless steel in construction worth
mentioning. The artistically-made roof consists of 4500
individual plates. 30 years later when they were cleaned
and checked for the first time the magazine Metalfax
wrote: A bit dark, but as good as new.
Its appearance hasn't changed to this very day.
The two main German producers use different terms for their brands which are Nirosta (Krupp Stahl AG)
and Remanit (Thyssen Edelstahlwerke AG). In our industrial sector we neutrally speak of stainless steel or
just stainless. Frequently used international names are 18/10 or 18/8 indicating the most common alloy-ratios
of chrome and nickel used to make stainless steel. Experts distinguish to different types of stainless steel
very precisely by using DIN standardised numbers for the raw material.
Stainless steel has been a registered trademark since 1966.