Stainless steel is a type of steel alloy that contains at least 10.5% chromium, which gives it its unique properties. The addition of chromium to the steel forms a passive oxide layer on the surface of the metal, which helps protect it from corrosion and staining. The amount of chromium in stainless steel can vary, but it typically ranges from 10.5% to 30%. Other elements such as nickel, molybdenum, and titanium may also be added to enhance the properties of stainless steel.
There are many different grades of stainless steel with varying properties, and each grade is designated by a specific number or letter code, such as 304, 316, or 430. Stainless steel is widely used in a variety of industries and applications, including construction, automotive, aerospace, medical, and food processing, due to its unique properties and versatility.