All about stainless steel: an interview with Nicola Hall

At Kloeckner Metals UK we want to give our customers the best solution for
all their steel needs. Stainless steel is a huge part of Kloeckner’s product
range and we have great expertise within this field to keep our customers
ahead of competition.

With steel being such an innovative material within the industry, we’ve
spoken with Nicola Hall, Stainless Steel Product Manager at Kloeckner to
get her insight into the ever-growing steel industry.

Can you tell us a bit more about your role at Kloeckner Metals UK?

At Kloeckner I head up the product management for Steel and Aluminium.
There are various duties within my role at Kloeckner, but the main ones are
supplier relationships and managing any new products we have.

What are the benefits of using stainless steel?

The benefits of using steel are vast. It has great aesthetics, while being
multipurpose for use at low and high temperatures. As a metal it has a
passive layer formed from oxide which prevents any corrosion on the
surface making it a very durable product with a long-life cycle. Along with
its endurance, steel can be infinitely recycled without losing its integrity,
therefore sustainable with long term value. The strength to weight
advantage and ease of fabrication make it an ideal product across a broad
range of applications.

Are there any exciting developments in stainless steel?

Yes, there is an exciting version of steel that is being released called the
Core 1.4622. This new release is a cheaper alternative to the everyday steel
304L. The Core 1.4622 is known as a Ferritic steel which has great durability
for daily use. Kloeckner are really looking forward to this as it is a great
development in the steel industry and a real step forward.

So which industry/industries use it the most?

The uses for stainless steel are so broad, and it varies between industries.

Construction companies use steel because of its great strength and
flexibility. They can use it in a variety of architectural applications including
hand rails, cladding, roofing and facades.

Chemical, Oil & Gas, Food processing, Power generation and Nuclear are all
industries that Kloeckner supply Stainless Steel into, in standard products or
laser cut processed parts.

The medical industry requires Stainless Steel for its corrosion resistance, and
ease of sterilisation, products include orthopaedic beds, cabinets and
examination tables.
These multiple uses make stainless steel an extremely versatile material.

Are there any new stand out industries that are now using stainless steel?

There has been a significant increase in the Automotive and Utility vehicles
industry. The original use of Stainless Steel within cars was purely for the
exhaust. However more recently this industry has been using Stainless Steel
within the structure of vehicles. As one of the largest independent
distributors of steel worldwide this is a very exciting prospect and an
industry we are excited to be more involved with.

 

Has the online shop helped to improve business for stainless steel?

The online shop has been a massive success towards our goal to digitalise
the supply chain. Not only has it helped grow the Stainless Steel side of the
business, but also Kloeckner as a whole. Our steel can now be bought
anywhere and anytime creating great flexibility for our customers therefore
directly contributing to our steel sales.

What is the most commonly sold product?

We are the market leader in the UK for Stainless Steel and offer a vast array.
Kloeckner have a truly comprehensive range of products in grades 1.4307;
1.4541; 1.4404 and 1.4003.
However the main volume product lines tend to be sheet and plate.
For us the top selling product at the moment is Stainless 304 sheet in
following sizes (in mm): 5 x 1500 x 3000; 10 x 1500 x 3000; 3 x 2000 x 4000; 3 x
1500 x 3000; 4 x 1500 x 3000. Our online store helps our customers to choose
different sizing and options when purchasing their steel, and also to keep a
history of their orders for later use.

 

In your opinion, what does the future of Stainless Steel look like?

The future for steel is bright and there is a great positivity in knowing that
steel is a major material with a large demand.

It is great to hear that the steel industry for Kloeckner is thriving. With
innovative industries and our efforts to digitalise the supply chain there are

an abundance of opportunities. Keep following our Facebook, Twitter and
LinkedIn pages for our latest news and updates.

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