Is It The End of Stainless Steel?

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Whirlpool turned a few heads last week when they announced their new White Ice finish for their deluxe kitchen appliance collection. The white, mirrored-glass, silver-accented design is notable because for the first time in at least a decade, the exterior of a major-brand, top-end appliance line isn’t strictly stainless steel.

There have been other hints that the industry is shifting away from a solely stainless design plan, like these colorful ranges. To be fair, they’ve mostly come from less-familiar European brands and niche manufacturers. (Though Whirlpool’s own Amana line did introduce a floral refrigerator finish back in 2009. We’re still waiting for it to revolutionize interior design tastes.

But even with new finishes available, is stainless still king? It isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Almost all of the ovens that we’ve reviewed on are predominantly stainless. Almost all of the upcoming major-brand premium kitchen lines will still be stainless. Stainless is cheap to make, relatively easy to clean, and has become the standard for kitchen design—sensibilities don’t change overnight.

White Ice and other colorful finishes do seem to represent a shift in the way that we think about interior design: We’re doing it to please ourselves and create comfortable living spaces right now, rather than designing to boost resale value. Younger homeowners in particular seem to prefer the extra choices.

So what do you think? How long will stainless maintain its reign? Is color a passing fad? Does anybody really want an iOven to match their iPad? Aren’t they just tools for cooking and cleaning anyway? What colors will our robot maids come in?


Iran Increases Steel Production

The World Steel Association said in its latest report that Iran produced 1.25 million tons of crude steel last month, showing a two-percent increase as compared with June 2012.

The country also produced 7.327 million tons of steel in the first six months of 2013.

Iran produced 3.833 million tons of steel in the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21, 2013), which was a 1.2-percent rise compared to the same period in the previous year.

Iranian steel smelters also produced 4.055 million tons of steel products in spring 2013. They produced 1.193 million tons of crude steel in the Iranian calendar month of Khordad (May 22-June 21) as well as 1.295 million tons of steel products during the month.

Iran plans to increase its steel output to more than 24 million tons by the end of the Iranian calendar year.

The country’s crude steel production reached 14.89 million tons in the previous Iranian calendar year (ended March 20, 2013).

On June 27, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated the Pasargad Steel Mill in the southern province of Fars.

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According to its website, the Pasargad Steel Mill aims to produce high-quality steel products in line with the highest international standards.

Iran plans to increase its annual steel output to 55 million tons by the end of the Fifth Five-Year Development Plan (March 2010-March 2015).

Iran is reportedly the biggest steel producer in the Middle East and North Africa. The country’s main steel mills are located in Isfahan and Khuzestan provinces.

Iran’s major raw steel producers are the Mobarakeh Steel Mill, with approximately 47 percent of the market share, the Khuzestan Steel Company, with about 23 percent of the market share, the Isfahan Iron Smelting Complex, with a market share of 20 percent, and the Iran National Steel Industries Group, with approximately 10 percent of the market share.

Source: Presstv