As a material, stainless steel is strong, corrosion-resistant, durable and hygienic: in many ways, it is the perfect answer to global challenges such as resource scarcity, urbanization, and global climate and water challenges.
Stainless steel offers properties for superior life cycle
Global megatrends such as addressing humanity’s growing demand for clean energy and pure water put higher expectations on material properties. Search for more efficient solutions is constant ongoing trend in all of our customer segments. Stainless steel is often the optimal choice, for example in applications such as solar power, biofuels and wind power. These require sustainably sourced materials that enable low life cycle costs.
We build the future from the past
Steel is the world’s most recycled material. Estimates indicate that the current end-of-life recycling rate for stainless steel is some 82%. In global terms, approximately 50% of the raw material used in making new stainless steel is recycled steel. In Outokumpu’s manufacturing operations, the average recycled content for all stainless steel products produced by the Group is on a high level compared to industry average.
The most important raw materials used by Outokumpu in producing stainless steel are recycled stainless and carbon steels. Together with metals recovered from waste products and by-products of the production process, they enable the recycled content of stainless steel produced by the Group to be raised significantly higher than the global industry average of 50%. In addition to recycled steel, alloying elements, including iron-containing alloys and other metals such as chromium, nickel and molybdenum, are also required.
Stainless steel is fully recyclable and suffers no degradation during reprocessing. Its constituents (including iron, nickel and chromium) can therefore be reused indefinitely in producing new stainless steel. These excellent recycling characteristics mean that stainless steel is well positioned to meet the demands of a future sustainable society. Outokumpu recognizes that recycling and the life cycle approach are important elements in achieving sustainable operations.