Production process

In this section references and links can be found to documents and animations that explain the production process of stainless steel.

How it's made: stainless steel

In this minisode from Discovery Science Channel's "How It's Made", find out how shiny stainless steel material is made.

Watch the video
Pickling and passivating stainless steel

This resource describes the surface treatments known as pickling and passivation that can be applied to stainless steel. Pickling uses nitric and hydrofluoric acids to remove a thin layer of metal from the surface.  Passivation uses nitric acid to improve the quality and thickness of the passive layer on the surface. Procedures for removing weld heat tint and rust contamination are explained.

This brochure is available in Czech, Dutch, English, German, Finnish, French, Polish, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish
[clicking on the language will open the pdf]

How is stainless steel made?

A short summary/illustration of the processes normally used to make stainless steel.
Source: Specialty Steel Industry of North America

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Pickling and passivation

Stainless steel can corrode in service if there is contamination of the surface. Both pickling and passivation are chemical treatments applied to the surface of stainless steel to remove contaminants and assist the formation of a continuous chromium-oxide, passive film. Pickling and passivation are both acid treatments and neither will remove grease or oil. If the fabrication is dirty, it may be neccesary to use a detergent or alkaline clean before pickling or passivation.
Source: Australian Stainless Steel Development Association

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Manufacturing process of stainless steel long products

The manufacturing process of stainless steel long products, shown with pictures.

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International Stainless Steel Forum (ISSF)
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