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Old 04-30-2006, 16:19   #11
Bill Harsey
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Location: Oregon, Land of the Silver Grey Sunsets
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Originally Posted by Ambush Master
And then there is passivation in the Stainless Steels!!!
I was gonna get here later but since you brought it up...

The trait exhibited by stainless steels not rusting is known as "passivity" and this refers to the material corroding to a point that a film is formed which acts as a barrier to further corrosion.

"Passivation" refers to a process where the stainless steel is, for example, placed in hot nitric acid to remove all surface contamination so nothing is left over from the manufacturing process that will act like a battery on the surface of the steel to set up corrosion. This is not a good process to do on the kitchen stove top.

The term stainless steel covers many types of alloys, the ones we are interested in are the hardenable or austenitizing steels.

Yes there are true tool steels that have good stainless abilities and these are also referred to as "stainless" even though they have little in common with non-hardening stainless steels.

Edited to add a footnote on stainless steels:
High temperature tempering of stainless tool steels can result in a loss of corrosion resistance because chromium carbides continue to form robbing the matrix of usable chromium. See next post.

Last edited by Bill Harsey; 05-01-2006 at 08:54.
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