Stainless steel is an important material in the fabrication of diverse commodities for commercial usage and sale. This metal is ideal for business manufacturing projects because it is not vulnerable to harsh environmental conditions like regular carbon steel. In simple terms, stainless steel has chromium which prevents rusting, corrosion and general tarnishing when it comes in contact with water. In addition, this material has good chemical resistance and does not stain easily. You can utilise stainless metal for custom fabrication of decorative plaques, household hardware, cookware, appliances and fixtures. Here are the main stainless steel types that you should consider selecting for your project.
The common stainless steel in the general market is austenitic metal. Therefore, you will have access to the raw material at good prices through most metal fabricators. This type of stainless steel is favoured because it is highly formable and responds when to welding. This machinability allows for creation of complex designs and easy repair by using welding techniques. There are some important sub-categories of this austenitic material, including chromium and nickel blends and chromium, nickel and molybdenum grades. The former is general purpose and the latter has increased corrosion resistance. You can also request for high performance grades that work in extreme temperatures and other demanding environments.
Ferritic steel is an alloy that is manufactured using low carbon steel and chromium. In simple terms, this material has two primary constituents: iron and chromium. Unlike austenitic steel, nickel is virtually absent from the structure of the metal. Therefore, you will find this type at lower prices because nickel is an expensive alloying element. The ferritic steel has good corrosion resistance and relatively high toughness and weldability. You should note that the material is magnetic due to the high iron content. If you choose this stainless steel for your commercial tasks, you should consider requesting for improved grades. For instance, some ferritic materials have molybdenum to enhance corrosion resistance and silicon to reduce oxidation.
Duplex stainless steel is designed to harness the benefits of both the austenitic and ferritic types. The microstructure of the duplex grade has approximately half of each composition. Basically, the constituents are carbon, high chromium content and fairly low nickel percentage. This material is favourable because the combined grades will provide higher strength and general toughness. In addition, you will get better corrosion resistance and good response to welding processes. Molybdenum and nitrogen can also be added to increase tarnish resistance and strength respectively.