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Stainless Steel Grade Selection
Tempered steels have properties which make them appealing options for a wide scope of uses. Many grades have been created throughout the years; these form a rich selection of options, with certain grades enhanced to offer savvy solutions for huge numbers of troubling situations in mechanical, marine, construction and transport applications. This post highlights the good, the bad and the ugly choices to be made with respect to the choice of suitable steel grade.
There are five primary steel alloys available at Mascot Steel, all of which contain different properties which are useful in different situations. The five alloys are:
- Precipitation Hardening
Properties and Use
The decision to select of one of these allows needs to be done considering that each alloy has a competitive advantage which needs to be isolated and exploited. The basic selection of steel for its properties can be looked at from the perspective of the aforementioned alloy groups:
- Austenitic – Heat resistance in less extreme conditions, cryogenic resistance at very low temperatures, low magnetic response.
- Ferritic – Corrosion resistance, stress corrosion resistance, high-chromium properties.
- Martensitic – High strength, corrosion resistance.
- Duplex – stronger than austenitic and ferritic steel, wide range of corrosion resistance, stress corrosion resistance, easily weldable.
- Precipitation Hardening – High strength, corrosion resistance.
Austenitic steel is often used in automotive trim, cookware, food and beverage equipment and industrial equipment. Ferritic steel is often used in kitchenware. Martensitic and Precipitation Hardening steel are often used in the construction of mine shafts and valve spindles, both because of each alloys’ strength and corrosive resistance. Duplex steel is often used in construction. Within all of these grades, however, further trade-offs exist. Some grades will imbibe properties useful for machinability but not for mass production, due to the low cutting speed of the metal. Others will resist heat and cold but will bend and crack under pressure. Your choice in steel depends on your situation.
Choice Based on Cost
While the cost of steel can be simply calculated in terms of its value per kilogram or value per metre, there is more to it than that. A better way to consider the value of your purchase is to evaluate the lifetime value of your choice. If steel is durable for any number of decades a price premium is worth the long-term benefit in the construction and transport sectors. This is because of the financial surplus provided by the lack of required maintenance on or replacement of steel components. Steel used in household applications, however, can be financially evaluated based on its compliance with a number of the property specifications mentioned in the last section and may be selected according to best bang for buck.
For all your steel needs, reach out to Mascot Steel to discuss your project specifications and the grade of the steel you require. Feel free to call us during business hours or email us any time to speak to a friendly representative about what we can do for you and your business.