How to Choose the Best Stainless Steel for Your Needs


There are different stainless steel grades in industrial applications. However, the availability of options when choosing stainless steel grades does not guarantee that you will always find the right one. It just makes the process even harder. Before you even get to choose the right grade, you need to have some basic understanding of what is stainless steel, steel composition, stainless steel uses and stainless steel products. Some of the most common stainless steel grades are grade 420 stainless steel, grade 430 stainless steel and grade 304 stainless steel. Considering that there are so many different types of stainless steel to choose from, how then you do go about choosing the right kind for your project. Here are some few tips to get you started.

Choosing Types of Stainless Steel Based on Process Temperatures
From a general perspective, stainless steel tends to have a fairly high melting point. However, you need to understand that this melting point differs from one stainless steel grade to the other. There are other grades of stainless steel that are better in oxidation resistance than others when exposed to extreme temperatures. Apart from dealing with the question-what is stainless steel, try and sort the stainless steel grades based on their use of temperature or melting pint. Depending on the intended purpose for the metals, the melting point either qualifies or underscores different stainless steel grades. If you find that a certain grade of stainless steel cannot handle extremely high temperatures, then you should consider skipping the metal and choose one with a high melting point. A high melting point is what makes a certain metal attractive to temperature-based sterilization system. By understanding that heat-intensive industrial processes require a metal that can accommodate excessive heating standards after the limits have been pushed.

Check the Corrosion Resistance of Each Stainless Steel Grade
Apart from having in-depth knowledge about what is stainless steel, you also need to consider the corrosion resistance of the specific stainless steel grade you have decided to choose. You often find that manufacturers prefer metals that can effectively resist corrosion. However, different stainless steel grades do not resist corrosion uniformly. Each has a different level of corrosion resistance. There are some grades that will resist certain kinds of acidic components while others tend to be very susceptible to salt exposure. There are also some grades of stainless steel that are resistant to different compounds. If you are wondering what is stainless steel and how you can choose the best grade for a project, think about how long the metal can withstand corrosive conditions and the environment in general. You cannot generalize the corrosion standards of different metals. Stainless steel grades such as 304 and 316 tend to be the best in terms of corrosion resistance. This is because; these grades contain high chromium contents which in turn affect the corrosion susceptibility.

Consider How Much Weight the Final Product Will Hold
You have probably come across the phrase ‘heavy duty’ metal products. After understanding what stainless steel is, try to think about the amount of weight that your steel products are meant to hold. Will the metals be used to hold lightweight or heavyweight loads? This is where the concept of tensile strength comes in. Most stainless steel grades tend to have fairly high tensile strength especially when you compare them to things like plastic. This tensile strength is however not uniform in all steel grades. The 420 stainless steel grade is the best in terms of tensile strength with approximately 586 MPa—high. When choosing the right grade stainless steel, first establish what is stainless steel then work down to establish how to choose the right grade for your project. Remember, none of the factors important when choosing stainless steel should be considered alone. Narrow down your search to the grades with the best physical and chemical qualities for the best outcome when using stainless steel in home and industrial applications.

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