Stainless steel is undoubtedly the most popular fastener material on the planet, and for a good reason! Stainless steel has numerous characteristics that make it distinctive and long-lasting. While stainless steel is the broad term for corrosion-resistant steel alloys, tiny changes in the alloy’s composition can radically modify the component’s electrical and mechanical properties. To mention a few, the core of a stainless-steel alloy can be chromium, nickel, copper, tungsten, or molybdenum. Understanding the benefits of employing stainless steel fasteners allows you to discover so much more about the components you provide your clients in the long run.
The most basic definition of stainless steel is a steel alloy formed by combining an ordinary low carbon alloy steel with a “low” quantity of carbon, on the order of 0.3%-0.5%. As an alloying component, at least 10% Chromium has been added to this standard low alloy steel. The Chromium alloying element does all the heavy work in corrosion resistance and is the fundamental factor that distinguishes stainless steel.
While much has been said about the proper methods to use fasteners, we have put together a simple guide to assist you in navigating through the main mistakes you may make when using fasteners and how to prevent them.
STAINLESS STEEL IS CORROSION-RESISTANT
The fact that stainless steel is corrosion-resistant is undoubtedly its most appealing feature. Stainless steel contains slightly more than 10% chromium, allowing a thin chromium oxide coating on the material’s outer surface. This efficiently avoids corrosion or deterioration caused by oxidation or other chemical processes. Stainless steel is also resistant to internal and external hydrogen embrittlement, making it the most popular material for fastener manufacture.
STAINLESS STEEL FASTENERS ARE CAPABLE OF SELF-REPAIRING
The thin chromium oxide film on the fastener’s outer layer employs oxidation to combat oxidation. Isn’t that clever? The oxide layer protects the fastener from corrosion and allows the fastener to self-repair. If the fastener is damaged by a scrape, dent, or other physical deformation, the naked alloy on the injured section is exposed to oxygen. Oxidation forms another layer of chromium oxide on this exposed layer, preventing it from further corrosion.
Please keep in mind that while stainless steel is corrosion-resistant, it is not corrosion-proof. If the fastener is not installed correctly, if its exposure to oxygen is insufficient (preventing the chromium oxide layer from forming), or if excess steel particles are left on the components during manufacturing, the chances of the fasteners corroding are significantly higher than with perfectly manufactured stainless steel fasteners.
STAINLESS STEEL FASTENERS HAVE A LONG LIFE
Stainless steel fasteners can be used in extreme temperatures and underwater because the material is highly durable. No other substance can provide such long-term advantages, at least not until you spend a fortune on it! While stainless steel fasteners may be more expensive initially, they are more cost-effective in the long run. You will undoubtedly save more money over time because stainless steel fasteners only need to be replaced every few decades.
STAINLESS STEEL FASTENERS LOOK BETTER
The aesthetic attractiveness of stainless steel in any structure is evident. Its tough yet elegant appearance has even inspired builders, manufacturers, and automotive makers to allow the fasteners to indicate where they are utilized! When comparing the aesthetics of equipment created with stainless steel fasteners to that of equipment built with fasteners made of other materials, you will note that the components produced with stainless steel fasteners are considerably better to look at owing to their anti-corrosion capabilities.
Two Most Common Stainless-Steel Fastener Alloys
Generally, two types of stainless-steel fasteners are most commonly utilized in machine designs. These two alloys are 304 and 316 stainless steel and are available in various fastener sizes and requirements. Both alloys belong to the 300 family of stainless steels, as their names indicate, but their mechanical qualities differ due to their chemical makeup.
|304 Stainless Steel||18-20% Chromium|
|316 Stainless Steel||16-18% Chromium|
304 stainless steel is used more frequently than 316 stainless steel. It is composed of Chromium and Nickel, as seen in the above chart. These alloying compounds have high oxidation and corrosion resistance. As a result, 304 stainless steel is frequently utilized in pipelines, culinary equipment, pressure vessels, and automobile parts.
316 stainless steel, on the other hand, is made up of comparable Chromium and Nickel compositions. However, as seen in the table above, 316 stainless steel has an extra Molybdenum added to guard against salt corrosion. As a result, 316 will offer excellent corrosion resistance in common locations considered more corrosive than basic open-air situations, such as maritime applications. Compared to 304 stainless-steel fasteners, the base material cost is more to attain this better level of performance. Three hundred sixteen stainless-steel fasteners can be found in boat building and other machine designs where fasteners may be exposed to unusual corrosive conditions.
Stainless steel fastener manufacturer aims to provide a wide range of stainless-steel fasteners to meet the needs.
Choose Your Stainless-Steel Fastener
The wide variety of steel alloys and fastener designations might easily confuse you, but this guide should provide you with enough information to navigate the fundamentals of stainless-steel fasteners. It is also essential to keep in mind that stainless steel is not corrosion-proof. Other factors, such as installation and end-use environment, will influence the performance of stainless-steel fasteners.