Reasons Why Stainless Steel Is So Valuable

Scrap metal recycling plant in east tennessee near knoxville, tn.

Reasons Why Stainless Steel Is So Valuable

Scrap metal is in high demand, and this reason alone makes it worth your time to gather the metals at your home, office, or job site and take them to a scrap metal yard. One particular metal has been providing revenue to buyers and scrappers alike for over 100 years. Since the early 1900s, when stainless steel was first introduced, it has become one of the most versatile, most used, and most valuable metals. This versatile material can be found almost everywhere—making it easy to find, recycle, and get paid for scrapping!

Stainless Steel Has a Longer Lifespan Than Other Metals

Corrosion-resistant stainless steel has a longer lifespan without rusting than most metals, thus enhancing its value. Stainless steel is a metal alloy that has a minimum of 10.5 percent of the chemical element chromium in its makeup. This layer of chromium protects the metal by adding the anti-corrosive property.  It also is a metal that is non-porous, aiding in its longer life. The metal is not indestructible, of course. If exposed to harsh acids, salt, or excessive moisture, eventually stainless-steel metal will wear down. It can also stain, and scratches on the surface can expose the layers beneath, causing corrosion. As the name implies, this metal will not damage as easily as ordinary steel.

Stainless Steel Is Made from A Variety of Metals

An alloy is a metal made from several differing types of metals, and in the case of stainless steel, it is an alloy made from combining carbon, iron, and additional metals. Adding and taking away the elements within stainless steel has produced many varieties of the alloy, which makes it so accessible and so easy for creating many types of products around. Combined together, the metals that compose stainless steel are more durable and stronger than when each metal is separate.

Stainless Steel Is 100% Recyclable

Stainless steel can be found in your kitchen in the form of cutlery, refrigerators, pans and more, as well as on job sites, making it a valuable metal in recycling since it is so plentiful. It is truly the most ideal metal for many applications. ‘New’ products made from stainless steel already contain about 60% recycled materials, making stainless one of the most sustainable metals around. This fact alone makes stainless steel one of the most valuable commodities in the metal market.

Stainless Steel is Graded and Comes in Different Forms

Since stainless steel can be found anywhere, it has many differing forms. Stainless steel is graded and is classified in a series. These series differentiate the types of stainless from 200-600, with numerous classifications in between. Each classification comes with identifying properties and families such as austenitic (non-magnetic), ferritic (magnetic), duplex, martensitic, and precipitation hardening (high strength and resistant to corrosion).

Though there are many classifications of stainless, we are going to address two common classifications: Type 304 and Type 304L. Type 304 is austenitic (non-magnetic) and is found in sinks, refrigerators, fermentation vats, storage tanks, tabletops, coffee pots, and more. It is the most widely used form of stainless steel as it can withstand corrosion caused by chemicals that are produced from food processes such as milk processing and winemaking. Although it may appear as such, type 304 is not just used in the food industry; this stainless steel is found in nuts, bolts, and screws, as well as heat exchangers and mining equipment, for example. The extra-low carbon version of type 304 is 304L. This version of stainless steel has a slightly lower mechanical property but is still versatile. It is often used in fermentation processes such as brewing beer and winemaking, and it is ideal for manufacturing bolts, nuts, and screws that are used in saltwater. 

Prices for Stainless Are Usually Decent in the Scrap Metal World

The weighted average of all stainless steel varies daily, as it is a global commodity, and it is difficult to keep up. Domestic factors such as the demand for stainless, the strength of the U.S. dollar, and trade tariffs influence the price, as well as international factors such as effects of natural disasters, political environments, and the overall condition of the world’s economy. A quick internet search can provide discrepancy. One report revealed that the prices of austenitic grades were up, while ferritic prices were down. This was contingent upon Indonesia announcing it would bring forward a ban upon exports of nickel ore until 2022, causing a surcharge for nickel-containing stainless steels.

Pricing, Scrapping, and Recycling Metals Near Me in East Tennessee

Though the market and economy change daily for the prices and stability of the metals industry, Roane Metals in Rockwood and Crossville, Tennessee have been providing expert handling of scrap metals for years. We take clean stainless steel as well as Fe (iron) stainless steel to be recycled. If you or your industry has excess stainless steel that you are wanting to get rid of, we will pay you per top market price. Our process for receiving payment is simple, and you get paid top metal prices in cash (subject to the Tennessee scrap metal laws). With nearly 100 years of experience in the industry, we can ensure that you are getting paid top prices while the entire process is easy for you! Reach out today through our website to inquire about prices, processes, or any other questions you might have about scrapping metal.