Things to consider while choosing stainless steel grade
Stainless steel is one of the highly used industrial metals which provides you with variety of alloys. Using stainless steel for manufacturing different components and elements will help you to go long way defeating your competitors in quality and durability of products. The corrosion resistance is the uniqueness of stainless steel along with many other attributes. It has various advantages such as the high strength-to-weight ratio, the low maintenance requirement and excellent formability. Other benefit includes the ability to be reused and recycled. The many pluses together make stainless steel an effective production material.
The fascinating versatility of the stainless steel developed from a great diversity of grades and alloys increases the reliability of the material since the last century. Researchers have highlighted the positive features of metal after experimenting with different alloy agents which are added to steel. They created specific grades that suit all specific situations.
This variety proves that it is significant for both the manufacturers and engineers for selecting the alloys carefully that perfect match for its end use.
ATTRIBUTES TO BE CONSIDERED WHILE SELECTING A STAINLESS STEEL GRADE
During the selection of a particular grade, you may consider various factors.
• Examine the environment
One of the most complicated tasks is to examine the environment to which the selected product or structure frequently encounters. For instance, if you aim to build an application in a marine environment, you need to seriously consider the corrosion resistance. Even though the stainless steels show enough anti-corrosion properties, not all steels survive in seawater.
• Response to welding
Another consideration is whether they need to be welded or not. Generally, stainless steels are difficult to weld when compared to carbon steel. If you wish to weld them, it is better to select austenitic family of stainless steels as they are well suited for welding applications especially alloys like 347 containing niobium stabilizers. The Duplex stainless steels also work in welding as they share various properties of the austenitic category.
Formability is another attribute that needs to be considered while selecting a grade of stainless steel. Besides welding, there are other processes which help to shape or stress the steel like bending or machining. It is better to avoid grade which are brittle and which do not respond enough during treatment in different ways. For instance, the martensitic stainless steels do not form easily and shall be avoided.
Strength is another major factor when talking about stainless steels. Previously, certain grades of stainless steels were developed with a high level of strength. For example, during the production, if you add a nickel to the stainless steel, it increases the ductility and toughness of the steel. If you need much more strong steel, you may choose martensitic and precipitation hardened families.
• Corrosion resistance
The final feature that should be considered during selecting stainless steel is the corrosion resistance. The withstanding capacities of alloys vary in different conditions. Hence it is better to specifications of each grade of stainless steels in order to find the combination properties that suit your needs and application. In this case, grade 304 is popular as it shows high corrosion resistance property due to its high level of chromium content. And if you go for more resistance, you may choose the grade 316 having high molybdenum content.