When it comes to custom manufacturing, selecting the appropriate material is crucial to achieving the desired outcome. Stainless steel is a highly popular material in manufacturing due to its exceptional properties and benefits. Without further ado let’s dive into the benefits of stainless steel and use in custom manufacturing.
- What is Stainless Steel?
- Why is Stainless Steel a Good Choice for Custom Manufacturing?
- Benefits of Stainless Steel in Custom Manufacturing
- Corrosion Resistance
- Durability and Longevity
- Aesthetic Appeal
- Easy Maintenance and Cleaning
- High Temperature Resistance
- Magnetic Properties
- Grades and Benefits of Stainless Steel
- Different Types of Stainless Steels
- Austenitic Stainless Steel
- Ferritic Stainless Steel
- Martensitic Stainless Steel
- Duplex Stainless Steel
- Applications and Benefits of Stainless Steel in Custom Manufacturing
- Stainless Steel FAQs
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is a material that is widely used across numerous industrial sectors and possesses several attributes that underscore its superiority. The presence of chromium in its composition gives it exceptional resistance to corrosion, with a minimum chromium content of only 10.5% rendering it about 200 times more corrosion-resistant than non-chromium-containing counterparts.
In addition to its corrosion-resistance, stainless steel is renowned for its exceptional tensile strength and durability, making it an excellent material for producing a diverse range of components and parts. Moreover, it boasts an impressive range of high and low-temperature resistance, it is easily malleable, and it can be fabricated with ease, rendering it highly versatile.
Stainless steel’s low-maintenance and long-lasting properties make it an ideal choice for consumers, obviating the need for any post-service treatment, coating, or painting. Its aesthetic appeal adds to its allure, making it a popular choice for a variety of applications. Furthermore, stainless steel is an environmentally friendly material that is recyclable, making it highly suitable for sustainable development.
Why is Stainless Steel a Good Choice for Custom Manufacturing?
For metal manufacturers and fabricators, using stainless steel in their production process can result in stronger, more durable, and more visually appealing finished products.
Stainless steel can be easily shaped and formed into a variety of complex shapes, making it a versatile material for custom manufacturing. It is also highly resistant to corrosion, making it ideal for use in harsh environments or where exposure to moisture is a concern. This corrosion resistance means that stainless steel products will last longer and require less maintenance than those made from other materials.
There are many common products that customers often get custom-made from stainless steel, including:
Stainless steel is a popular choice for seat frames in both industrial and commercial settings, as it is strong and resistant to wear and tear.
Shelves are commonly used in commercial kitchens and other settings where hygiene is a priority. They are easy to clean and highly resistant to bacteria and other contaminants.
Trolleys are frequently used in industrial and medical settings, as they are strong, durable, and can be easily sterilized.
Work benches are also common in industrial and laboratory settings, as they provide a sturdy and hygienic surface for work.
Stainless steel is often used in the production of machined parts due to its excellent machinability and resistance to wear.
Benefits of Stainless Steel in Custom Manufacturing
One of the most significant benefits of stainless steel is its corrosion resistance. This makes it an ideal choice for applications where the material will be exposed to harsh environments, such as marine or industrial settings. Stainless steel’s resistance to corrosion helps extend the lifespan of the product and reduces the need for repairs or replacements.
Durability and Longevity
Stainless steel is a highly durable material that can withstand a range of harsh conditions. Its strength and toughness make it an ideal choice for applications where the material will be exposed to impact or heavy loads. Additionally, stainless steel’s durability helps to extend the lifespan of the product, reducing the need for replacements.
Stainless steel is also considered a highly attractive material, making it an ideal choice for applications where aesthetics are important. Its polished finish gives it a modern and sleek appearance, making it a popular choice for architectural and interior design applications.
Stainless steel is a versatile material that can be used for a wide range of applications. Its unique properties make it an ideal choice for applications in a variety of industries, including medical, automotive, and aerospace.
Easy Maintenance and Cleaning
Stainless steel is also easy to maintain and clean, making it an ideal choice for applications where hygiene is important. Its smooth surface makes it easy to wipe down, and it is also resistant to staining and corrosion, reducing the need for frequent cleaning.
While stainless steel may initially be more expensive than other materials, its durability and longevity make it a cost-effective choice in the long run. Its resistance to corrosion and wear helps to extend the lifespan of the product, reducing the need for costly repairs or replacements.
Stainless steel is also an eco-friendly choice of material. It’s 100% recyclable and can be reused in a variety of applications, reducing waste, and minimizing the impact on the environment. Additionally, stainless steel production processes have improved over time, reducing the carbon footprint and making it a more sustainable choice.
Stainless steel’s smooth surface makes it easy to clean and sanitize, making it an ideal choice for applications such as the medical and food industries. Its resistance to corrosion and staining also reduces the risk of bacterial growth, making it a more hygienic choice compared to other materials.
High Temperature Resistance
Stainless steel is highly resistant to heat, making it an ideal choice for applications that require high-temperature resistance. It can withstand high temperatures without losing its strength or properties, making it a popular choice for applications in the automotive and aerospace industries.
Stainless steel also has magnetic properties, which makes it a popular choice for applications in the electrical and electronic industries. The most common grades in this field are SS304 and SS316.
Grades and Benefits of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a highly adaptable material used in a plethora of applications due to its composition, physical attributes, and categorization systems. There are several numerical grading systems, with each form grouped by its series number and an allocated numerical grade. The most frequently employed series numbers comprise 200, 300, 400, 600, and 2000, with austenitic chromium-nickel alloys, such as type 304 and 316, constituting the most extensively used grades.
The 400 series, originating from ferritic and martensitic chromium alloys, is home to cutlery-grade stainless steel. Surgical steel is referred to as type 420, whereas type 440 is popularly known as razor blade steel. For further knowledge information on stainless steel types just continue reading.
Different Types of Stainless Steels
Austenitic Stainless Steel
Austenitic stainless steel is a commonly used type of stainless steel in manufacturing, accounting for approximately 70% of total production. It is made up of high levels of chromium (between 16% and 26%) and nickel (between 6% and 22%), providing exceptional corrosion resistance, toughness, and ductility. There are two subcategories of austenitic steel, the 200 and 300 series, which use different alloys to achieve the austenitic structure. Grade 304, sometimes referred to as 18/8 due to its 18% chromium and 8% nickel content, is the most commonly used stainless steel in kitchen equipment, cutlery, and automotive and aerospace structural components. Grade 316 is another popular austenitic steel used in food preparation equipment, medical and surgical equipment, boat fittings, and chemical and textile processing equipment.
Overall, austenitic stainless steel is an ideal material for various applications in industries such as food and beverage, chemical processing, and medical equipment.
Ferritic Stainless Steel
Ferritic stainless steel is a type of stainless steel with high levels of chromium (between 10.5% and 27%) but no nickel. It has good ductility, tensile-property stability, and high resistance to corrosion, thermal fatigue, and stress-corrosion cracking. Although it has lower corrosion resistance compared to austenitic stainless steel, it is commonly used in various applications, such as automotive components and parts, in the petrochemical industry, in heat exchangers, in furnaces, and in other appliances and food equipment.
Ferritic stainless steel is especially suitable for high-temperature applications, such as exhaust systems in the automotive industry.
Martensitic Stainless Steel
Martensitic stainless steel is a commonly used type of stainless steel that contains high levels of carbon (up to 1.2%) and lower levels of chromium (between 11% and 17%). It also contains up to 1% molybdenum for improved corrosion and oxidation resistance. Martensitic steels are magnetic and possess high strength, hardness, and wear resistance. They are heat-treatable and can be easily formed into a wide range of parts and components, making them suitable for various applications. These applications include compressor blades, turbine parts, bolts, nuts, and screws, pump and valve parts, dental and surgical instruments, electric motors, pumps, valves, machine parts, sharp surgical instruments, cutlery, knife blades, and other cutting hand tools.
Overall, martensitic stainless steel is an excellent choice for applications that require high hardness and strength, such as knives, scissors, and turbine blades.
Duplex Stainless Steel
Duplex stainless steel is a type of steel that combines the properties of austenitic and ferritic stainless steels, offering both high strength and excellent corrosion resistance. This steel has a high chromium and molybdenum content, ranging from 22% to 25% and up to 5%, respectively, and a low nickel content. Due to its unique microstructure, duplex stainless steel is well-suited for demanding applications in industries such as chemical processing, oil and gas, marine, pulp and paper, transportation, construction, and desalination. It is commonly used for pressure vessels, heat exchanger tubes, cargo tanks, and components for flue gas desulfurization systems. If you need a steel that can withstand harsh environments, duplex stainless steel may be a good choice for your project.
Applications and Benefits of Stainless Steel in Custom Manufacturing
Industrial and Construction
Stainless steel is commonly used in industrial and construction applications due to its high strength, durability, and corrosion resistance. It is used for structural components, fasteners, and reinforcement bars in concrete.
Food and Beverage
Stainless steel is a hygienic material that is widely used in the food and beverage industry. It is used for processing equipment, storage tanks, and kitchen appliances due to its corrosion resistance and easy-to-clean surface.
Medical and Pharmaceutical
Stainless steel is a biocompatible material that is commonly used in medical and pharmaceutical applications, such as surgical instruments, implants, and medical equipment. It is resistant to corrosion and can be sterilized easily.
Automotive and Transportation
Stainless steel is used in automotive and transportation applications due to its high strength-to-weight ratio and corrosion resistance. It is used for exhaust systems, suspension components, and fuel tanks.
Aerospace and Defence
Stainless steel is a critical material in aerospace and defence applications due to its high strength, corrosion resistance, and heat resistance. It is used for aircraft components, rocket engines, and missile casings.
Stainless steel is an incredibly versatile material used extensively in custom manufacturing due to its unique properties, including resistance to corrosion and staining, durability, and aesthetic appeal. It is available in numerous grades and types that can be used in a wide range of applications, including architecture, automotive, food processing, medical, and chemical processing industries. Its numerous benefits make it an ideal material for use in harsh environments, where durability and resistance to corrosion are critical.
Stainless steel is also an environmentally friendly choice, as it is 100% recyclable, reducing the need for virgin materials and minimizing waste. Its low maintenance requirements further make it a cost-effective choice in the long run, as it reduces the need for frequent cleaning and repairs.
Learn more about stainless steel fabrication and discover the benefits of offshore metal manufacturing to your company and how we can help you!
Stainless Steel FAQs
Is stainless steel more expensive than other materials?
While stainless steel may be more expensive initially, its durability and longevity make it a cost-effective choice in the long run.
Is stainless steel difficult to maintain?
No, stainless steel is easy to maintain and clean. Its smooth surface makes it easy to wipe down, and it’s resistant to staining and corrosion.
Is stainless steel an eco-friendly choice?
Yes, stainless steel is 100% recyclable and can be reused in a variety of applications, making it an eco-friendly choice of material.
Can stainless steel withstand high temperatures?
Yes, stainless steel is highly resistant to heat and can withstand high temperatures without losing its strength or properties.