Element essential to the manufacture of stainless steel in alloying. It increases the corrosion resistance and hardenability of steel. When added as 12 to 20 percent by weight, together with carbon, it imparts abrasion and wear resistance. It is a trace element that is essential in human nutrition. Leather tanning is one industry that uses its compounds, such as chromium sulfate. The French chemist, Louis Vauquelin discover it in 1797.