Compatibility with other construction materials

> Other metals

When two dissimilar metals come into contact in the presence of moisture, an electric current flows from the metal having the lower potential to the higher (more noble) metal resulting in the less noble metal being consumed – “corroded”.
The greater the difference in potential, the greater the rate of corrosion, so that for example zinc and aluminium will corrode rapidly in contact with copper. Whereas because the difference in potential between copper and lead is small, it is safe to use copper nails when fixing lead. All metals posses an inherent electro potential, briefly as shown below.

Whilst stainless steel is at the high end of the nobility scale, it permits the use of stainless steel in general contact with other metals. 


          Normal potential of building metals and some noble metals compared
          to a hydrogen electrode.


> Other materials 

Because stainless steel is highly resistant to both acids and alkalis at the concentration found in construction materials it is unaffected by:

      - Sap in a wide range of wood, including cedar and green oak

      - Timber preservatives, including CCA (Tanalith)

      - Plaster

      - Cement mortar and concrete

      - Run-off from bitumen, asphalt and from mosses and lichens


BDP Manchester studio - Royaume Uni / Building Design Partnership Limited
© Martine Hamilton Knight
> It is also unaffected by the decomposition products of decaying materials i.e. leaf matter, vegetation, carrion.
> Stainless steel should not come into contact with brick–cleaning fluid (hydrochloric acid) or with chlorine in concentrated form, in this event rinse thoroughly with water
> Care must be taken to avoid debris from the angle grinding of carbon steel or similar cutting operations where swarf or iron deposits may be deposited onto the stainless steel surface.
> Such deposits will naturally rust and stain the surface of the stainless steel.