• Steel shower enclosure

    Stainless steel, a noble material that lends elegance to Meigus shower enclosures

Stainless steel and tempered glass shower enclosure

Shower enclosures made of AISI 304 stainless steel and tempered glass are distinguished by their elegance and clean lines. Stainless steel is an easy-to-clean material, is highly hygienic, and has a strong resistance to corrosion. In fact, it is a material suitable for environments with special conditions such as the sea.

Sliding solutions, pivots, and partitions emphasize the combination of steel and glass as in today’s modern homes.

Features

The Italian word ‘inossidabile’ is derived from ‘Inox’ which, if it seems to be of English origin, comes from the French inoxydable.

In English, in fact, ‘inox’ means nothing. In English, it is called stainless steel where steel means steel and stainless is, literally, ‘without stain’.

A much more appropriate definition, since this material is very oxidizable and owes its fortune to this.

Here are the main properties of stainless steels:

– Corrosion resistance

– Interesting aesthetic aspects

– Heat resistance

– Low maintenance cost

– Recyclability

– Ease of manufacture

– Ease of cleaning

– Excellent strength-to-weight ratio

But beware: stainless steel is not eternal or resistant to everything. It is good to know what it is to be used for, and maintenance is always necessary.

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The chromium in the alloy creates a very fine and uniform oxide layer. This protects the metal from the damaging effects of moisture, salinity or chemicals. More appropriately, we call this very thin, transparent layer a “passivated layer”.

By passivation, we mean the characteristic, typical of these metals, of covering themselves with a thin, adherent layer of oxides, 0.3-5 nm (nanometres!) thick.

This phenomenon occurs due to the reaction of the metal with the oxidizing environment (air, water, chemical agents, etc.). You can therefore see that stainless steel actually needs controlled initial oxidation (paradoxically, if you put it under an oxygen-free hood, it would not become ‘stainless’).

One of the best features of this passivating layer is its ability to self-heal so that the metal is protected even in the event of abrasion or removal of the film. Of course, the resistance depends on the type and quality of the material (optimal amount of chromium and any other elements, etc.).

The various types of stainless steel are commonly defined by the nomenclature AISI (which stands for American Iron and Steel Institute). The AISI notation identifies stainless steel by means of a three-digit abbreviation (sometimes accompanied by a letter indicating another added chemical element).

Let’s take a look at some of the most common.

AISI 304 stainless steel: used both indoors and outdoors, it should not be laid in contact with chemical agents. It is also defined by the acronyms 18/8 or 18/10 precisely because of the amount of chrome and nickel. AISI 304 is the steel most commonly used for cutlery, hoods, kitchens, bar counters, sinks, tables, chairs, etc…

AISI 316 stainless steel: Molybdenum is added for additional corrosion resistance. It can also be used in environments with high humidity and salinity. This is why it is used in naval carpentry. It is also used for orthopaedic implant screws and jewellery (it is what some call ‘surgical steel’).

AISI 430 stainless steel: suitable in environmental conditions that are not too “difficult” and when the aesthetic aspect is not a priority. Also suitable for ‘panels’ in furniture.

Stainless steel AISI 441: steel with high hygienic properties and good resistance to corrosion. It is competitively priced, thanks to the absence of nickel in its composition, and can therefore be a valid alternative to AISI 304. Particularly suitable for hobs and panelling, as well as for tables and chairs.

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