Stainless Steel - 100 Not Out!100 years of Stainless Steel

2013 marks 100 years since stainless steel was discovered in Sheffield. The BSSA have selected 50 applications and features that demonstrate how stainless steel has influenced our lives so far.



Stainless Steel Makes the Cut

Christopher Johnson Cutlery Stainless Steel Cutlery

Courtesy of David Mellor Design Ltd

Imagine a world without stainless steel... what we take for granted today was only discovered 100 years ago. In fact the discovery that changed the world was an accident – Harry Brearley, at Firth Brown's laboratory in Sheffield, was testing different steel alloys to try to improve the rifling in gun barrels and noticed that one cast did not corrode. The vital ingredient was sufficient chromium that meant the oxide film known as rust on ordinary steel was an impenetrable protective layer on the new 'rustless steel'.

During 2013, we will highlight 50 applications to illustrate how stainless steel has changed our lives for the better. And one of the first uses was for cutlery and this remains the standard material today – imagine a world without stainless steel...

Find out about the history of stainless steel

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British Stainless Steel Association (BSSA): registered in England and Wales as a private company limited by guarantee; registration no. 07547349