In metallurgy, stainless steel,also known as inox steel or inox from French inoxydable (inoxidizable), is a steel alloy with a minimum of 10.5% chromium content by mass.
Stainless steels are notable for their corrosion resistance, which increases with increasing chromium content. Additions of molybdenum increase corrosion resistance in reducing acids and against pitting attack in chloride solutions. Thus, there are numerous grades of stainless steel with varying chromium and molybdenum contents to suit the environment the alloy must endure. Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion and staining, low maintenance, and familiar lustre make it an ideal material for many applications where both the strength of steel and corrosion resistance are required.
Stainless steels are rolled into sheets, plates, bars, wire, and tubing to be used in: cookware, cutlery, surgical instruments, major appliances; construction material in large buildings, such as the Chrysler Building; industrial equipment (for example, in paper mills, chemical plants, water treatment); and storage tanks and tankers for chemicals and food products (for example, chemical tankers and road tankers). Stainless steel's corrosion resistance, the ease with which it can be steam cleaned and sterilized, and no need for other surface coatings has also influenced its use in commercial kitchens and food processing plants.
Stainless steel is used for jewelry and watches, with 316L being the type commonly used for such applications. Oxidizing stainless steel briefly gives it radiant colors that can also be used for coloration effects.Valadium, a stainless steel and 12% nickel alloy is used to make class and military rings. Valadium is usually silver-toned, but can be electro-plated to give it a gold tone. The gold tone variety is known as Sun-lite Valadium.Other "Valadium" types of alloy are trade-named differently, with such names as "Siladium" and "White Lazon".