September 28, 2016
By Gilbert VandenHeuvel
At Dwyer Manufacturing Stainless Steel is extensively used as a fastener, plumbing part and mostly as a building material.
But what makes stainless steel so good at what it does? Read on and find out. ,
Stainless steel differs from carbon steel by the amount of chromium present. Unprotected carbon steel rusts readily when exposed to air and moisture. This iron oxide film (the rust) is active and accelerates corrosion by forming more iron oxide and because of the greater volume of the iron oxide, this tends to flake and fall away. Stainless steels contain sufficient chromium to form a passive film of chromium oxide, which prevents further surface corrosion by blocking oxygen diffusion to the steel surface and blocks corrosion from spreading into the metal’s internal structure. Passivization occurs only if the proportion of chromium is high enough and oxygen is present, minimum 13%.
There are different types of of stainless steel. For instance, when nickel is added, stainless become non-magnetic and less brittle at low temperatures. For greater strength and hardness, more carbon is added. When these steels are heat treated the material can be used for products such as razor blades, tools and cutlery.
Most common stainless types are 316 and 304. Each have their own properties and used accordingly.
Type 304—the most common grade; the classic 18/8 (18% chromium, 8% nickel) stainless steel.
Type 316—the second most common grade; for food and surgical stainless steel uses; alloy addition of molybdenum prevents specific forms of corrosion. It is also known as marine grade stainless steel due to its increased resistance to chloride corrosion compared to type 304. 316 is often used for building nuclear reprocessing plants.
Watch video that explains stainless grades click HERE
For a complete list of 304 Stainless fasteners available at Dwyer Manufacturing click HERE.
Manufacturers make either rolls or slabs of stainless which are further processed into forms we see each day.
Click HERE to watch an interesting video on the manufacturing of Stainless Steel.