How Can You Keep Your Business Supplied?

« Back to Home

Choosing the Right Stainless Steel Alloy for Metal Fabrication

Posted on

Stainless Steel is one of the most popular metals used in fabrication processes. Stainless steel is the name given to an iron alloy, which contains at least 10 percent Chromium. Most of the stainless steel alloys also contain nickel and a few other elements. The composition of a stainless steel alloy determines its chemical properties, and how it reacts to the conventional fabrication processes. Here are tips to help you pick the best steel alloy for metal fabrication processes.

Choosing the Right Alloy Classification

Stainless steel is classified into three main categories, Austenitic, Ferritic and Martensitic. Austenitic steels contain both Nickel and Chromium. The nickel is between six and 22 percent, while the Chromium is between 16 and 26 percent. Ferritic steels are a bit different, as they only contain iron and 12 to 30 percent Chromium. Finally, the Martensitic stainless steels contain 11 to 14 percent chromium and have no Nickel. Austenitic steels are easy to weld and form, and the Ferritic class hardens well when treated with heat, while the Martensitic is poorly welded and has low corrosion resistance. 

Choosing the Right Stainless Steel Grade

Stainless steel is also classified into four different grades. These are 304,316, 410, and 430. 304 is the most popular type of stainless steel in the fabrication business. It is highly corrosion-resistant, forms easily and is not easily affected by chemicals. Type 316 is unique because it has the element Molybdenum added, which gives it excellent corrosion resistance. Type 410 is used for small scale operations that do not need high corrosion resistance. Finally, 430 is mainly used for jewellery and similar applications.

Choosing the Right Physical Measurements

Knowing the chemical composition of the metal you want to use for fabrication is important, but it is also essential to choose the right measurements. The crucial parameters to consider are the inner diameter, outer diameter, overall length and total thickness. It is also essential to think about other specifications, such as the tensile strength, conductivity and yield strength of the stainless steel alloy you choose to use in your fabrication process.

If you are not sure about the ideal type and chemical composition of the steel to choose for fabrication, you are advised to get a competent stainless steel fabricator to take you through the options. They will listen to your use specifications and select for you the ideal type of steel to use for the given purpose.