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Let’s look at stainless steel and the renewable energy sector.

stainless steel and the renewable energy sector

Stainless steel is an essential part of the renewable energy sector. From solar power plants to wind turbines, biofuel and even nuclear power plants, stainless steel is used extensively across the industry.

Governments and international organisations around the world are renewing their commitments to reduce their carbon footprint and increase their energy efficiency. This means there is no doubt that the renewable energy sector is only set to get bigger and more complex.

In recent years, there has been an increasing focus on ensuring that the green solutions themselves, such as solar panels or wind turbines, need to be environmentally sustainable. This is a big reason as to how stainless steel is transforming the renewable energy sector; Stainless steel is a highly recyclable material that also has a range of other benefits that make it competitive with other metals and plastics.

It appears that the fate of stainless steel and the renewable energy sector are intertwined.

The use of stainless steel in the UK renewable energy sector

The UK’s renewable energy sector is fast-paced and innovative, with technological innovation driving the growth of this exciting industry.

It is interesting to think that the first true stainless steel was only invented in the 1920s in the UK. It is Dr W.H. Hatfield who is credited with the development of the first ‘stainless steel’ in 1924. Stainless steel is now such an essential part of our daily lives, and indeed the future of the renewable energy sector that it is strange to think of it having only been discovered after WW1.

Renewable energy sources are being developed every day, and stainless steel is an invaluable asset.

Stainless steel tubes and fittings are commonly used in both structural and practical functions. Stainless steel is so popular within the renewable energy sector because it is both a ‘green’ material, and a dependable one.

Its structure means that it can withstand extreme environments as it is heat-tolerant, corrosion resistant, lightweight and hygienic. It is also environmentally friendly as it can be reused and recycled to meet the ethical standards of the industry.

With its numerous advantages, it’s no surprise that stainless steel has relatively quickly become indispensable in the industrial world. Not only is it strong and lightweight, but the metal is also extremely diverse as it has many different alloys that mean it can be used for many different purposes.

It is also helpful that it is so sustainable. Being 100% recyclable means that it helps to reduce waste during production processes, and it can be fully reused at the end of a product’s lifecycle.


Applications for stainless steel in the renewable energy sector

Stainless steel has many applications within the renewable energy sector. Here are just some of the uses:

  1. Biomass Energy:
    Corrosive compounds are produced as a by-product during the biomass energy process. This is where stainless steel’s ability to resist corrosion comes in handy, and it is used in these plants for pumps, pipes, valves, fittings and digester tanks. Biomass & anaerobic digestion plants are one of the main places Special Metric Materials supplies to. Much of our stock of ISO Stainless Steel products will be destined for this market.
  2. Solar Energy:
    Stainless steel is used extensively in the solar energy field due to its ability to withstand heat and maximise heat transfer. Specifically, it is widely used for both the inner and outer shells of water tanks, pumps, tubing, cushion absorbers, frames and fasteners.
  3. Offshore Wind energy:
    Offshore wind farms are located in naturally corrosive environments – surrounded by the sea. This means the use of stainless steel fasteners, safety cables, pipes, tubes, and fittings is essential. It is thought that using stainless steel in wind turbines prolongs the life of the turbines for more than 50 years, as well as making them stronger and more efficient.
  4. Hydroelectric Energy:
    The process of producing hydroelectric energy takes place in corrosive environments. The use of stainless steel products in this process means that the system is protected from seawater corrosion, abrasion, and bio-fouling.

Special Metric Materials, stainless steel and the renewable energy sector

Special Metric Materials works closely with our supply chain to ensure that we have a comprehensive stock of high quality, durable and long-lasting stainless steel tubular products. These products can be relied upon time and time again in the renewable energy sector.

Our network of respected manufacturers means that we can be relied upon to provide a fast and dependable service.

To find out more about how our stainless steel products can be used within the renewable energy sector, be sure to speak to someone from the Special Metric Materials team.

Fast, efficient delivery to your exact specification. Special Metric Materials is as committed to your project as you are.

Speak to one of our expert team today

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