Steel alloys, like stainless steel, have become ubiquitous materials for constructing everything from household cookware to buildings to modern art. The alloy has many attributes that make it useful, such as an excellent shine, a surface that resists corrosion and rust and that is durable under harsh weather conditions. All these benefits add up to seeing alloy steels commonly found in just about every drawer of a household, a few appliances and a table top or two.
Stainless steel construction came into vogue during the Art Deco period of the 1920s.The Chrysler Building in New York is an example of stainless steel used in construction during this time period. Tons of the corrosion resistant sheet metal was used to erect the facade of the top spire of this staple of the New York City skyline which was originally built in 1928.
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Mo., is an important component of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and has stainless steel in its construction as well. Each wall of the memorial is built with a stainless steel skin that surrounds the memorial's walls to create a luminescent, ever-shining facade.
Stainless steel is used for everything from countertops, cutlery and body jewelry. Composed of 10 percent chromium, this alloy resists staining and is rust- and corrosion-proof, making it ideal for surfaces that sustain heavy use. Many pots and pans are surrounded by stainless steel as a health measure. The cookware is kept rust free, which keeps the potential for food-related illness caused by faulty cookware to a minimum.
Many artists have turned to steel alloys as mediums for fine art. Contemporary abstract art, like the creations by artist Mike Bruno, has mined the fields of alloy steel as a canvas to be painted on as well as a sculpting medium. Upright statues and abstract pieces use the shine quality of the material as well as take advantage of its anti-corrosion and weathering properties in a way that marble and other stones cannot.