Stainless steel is a popular metal. Its special attributes make it useful in both domestic and commercial applications. Despite its high tensile strength and levels of hardening, you can still count on stainless to be malleable and workable. This allows you to cut, bend and manipulate the material in several ways. However, this will depend on the grade of stainless steel that you choose. The grades are fabricated using different techniques, an element that leads to variations in their tensile strength and other characteristics. Here are the things you should keep in mind when choosing a grade for your stainless steel:
Welding is necessary for bonding and creating metal joints. When working on your project, think about the number of weld joints that you will need so that you can identify the stainless steel grade you will use in different sections of the project. For the best results, consider steel grades that fall under the authentic steel family. Good examples are the grade 347 and 304L. Grade 347 has a high amount of niobium stabilisers while grade 304L contains less carbon, attributes that make both of these grades suitable for welding. Other steel grades that are friendly to the weld include grade 439 and 430.
Steel is prone to attack by various forms of corrosion. This include crevice, pitting, and stress corrosion. Stainless steel is manufactured with all these forms of corrosion in mind. Nevertheless, different grades offer varying levels of corrosion resistance. For the best corrosion resistance, go for grade 304 or 316. These grades are similar because they have high levels of chromium content. In fact, grade 316 is slightly better because its chemical composition contains molybdenum. Avoid Ferritic steels because of small chromium percentages that compromise their ability to resist corrosion.
You should also consider the amount of strength that you will get from the steel grade that you choose. Some applications such as rebar for construction require high tensile strength when compared to other lightweight applications. If strength is a priority in your project, then consider choosing martensitic grades such as 440C. Stainless steel grades hardened by precipitation can also do a great job in terms of tensile strength. Examples of such grades include 17-4PH and 15-5 PH. For mid-range tensile strength, go for austenitic grades such as 316. They combine ductility and strength quite well, making them strong but easy to bend and manipulate.
Contact a stainless manufacturing company for more information and assistance.