Apple Receives Patent For Better, Stronger Stainless Steel

Apple has received a patent which allows them to add a thin layer of nitride to stainless steel, improving the compounds resistance to scratching, while retaining the steel’s original look and feel. According to patent number 20100273538, the new method is “cost-effective” and should improve the ‘hardness’ of the stainless steel.

According to Electronista, the new process involves taking a regular piece of stainless steel and then placing it into a superheated salt bath at temperatures between 520 to 580 degrees Celsius (approx. 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit), the steel is then allowed to absorb the nitride after 45 to 90 minutes.

While the new coating is only approximately 15 microns in thickness, the Vickers Hardness rating can range from 140 to 1,000.

Apple claims the new steel is “five times stronger” than current stainless steel, which could have far reaching effects on other products created from the stainless material.