Does stainless steel rust?
Before we get into if you can wear it in the shower, pool, or ocean, we have to look at whether stainless steel has the potential to rust. To answer that, stainless steel doesn’t tarnish. That is however when we’re talking about the excellent quality stainless steel. You, therefore, have to consider the grade of stainless steel you’re purchasing if you don’t want to worry about rust.
The stainless steel known and preferred the most is 304. It also goes by the names 18/8 and 18/10 respectively to represent that compositions 18 percent chromium and 8 percent nickel or 10 percent nickel. The other stainless steel is 316.
It has an additional 2 percent molybdenum, a metal that provides more resistance to localized corrosion and acids that contain chloride ions. With such properties, it is said that stainless steel does not rust.
The reason why it does not rust is because of the chromium. There has to be not less than 10 percent chromium if the stainless steel is not going to rust. That is because, by definition, chromium is stainless. There can be other metals such as iron, carbon, and manganese, but the stainless metal has to be there. How it works is that it prevents oxidizing and thus rusting.
One can say that it protects the alloy from reacting to elements in the environment, the properties in the air and water included. Should the chromium level get damages, then you can expect rusting and overall damage to the jewelry.