Stainless steel fabrication process

At Grupo Lapuente we take care of offering products and services in stainless steel, in this article we discover how the material is produced, so that once wound we can transform them into sheets, strips, tubes and profiles, among others.

Stainless steel is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of 10% to 12% chromium. May contain other metals such as moly, nickel, and tungsten. Depending on their composition, we divide them into martensitic, ferritic, austenitic, and duplex.

Its manufacture is based on three key phases: steel mill, hot rolling and cold rolling.

Steel mill

Once the scrap has been selected according to the steel to be produced, it is deposited in an electric arc furnace that has three graphite electrodes; In this first step we will obtain the liquid steel. Subsequently, the process known as AOD takes place: decarburization, oxygen reduction and desulfurization using inert gas, in which we achieve that the steel acquires the status of stainless. After this, a roughing and cooling of the steel plate takes place.

Hot rolling

This part of the process takes place in a preheating oven. First of all, the steel is roughened in order to reduce the thickness of the plate. Once the desired dimensions are obtained, the material passes through the finishing train, which maintains its temperature; This makes it possible to avoid problems due to the lack of ductility of the material. Subsequently, a uniform cooling occurs, and the sheet is wound.

Cold rolling

After hot rolling, the crystalline structure of stainless steel has lost its metallurgical properties; In order to recover them, the material is subjected to a thermal regeneration process.
In order for stainless steel to have the shiny appearance that characterizes it, the material is annealed and pickled. At this point, to achieve the desired final thickness in the sheets obtained from the union of the different coils, these are introduced in a reversible rolling mill.