Better Stainless: Analysis could bring pits out of the steel

9:04am, February 13, 2002

Stainless steel, true to its name, resists rust. Cheaper grades of the material, however, are susceptible to pit corrosion, in which small spots on the metal's surface erode at accelerated rates. In certain environments, pit corrosion can pierce several millimeters of stainless steel in just a few weeks.

A study by British researchers, reported in the Feb. 14 Nature, offers hints about how metallurgists could conquer this pox on steel and produce materials that are longer lasting and easier to clean than current low-grade stainless steel is.

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