How Can I Tell What Is Stainless Steel and What Isn’t?
There are many different types of stainless steel, but what makes it stainless? After all, stainless steel comes in many shapes and forms, and you might not be able to tell confidently what stainless steel looks like versus other types of metal.
That being said, to help you better understand what stainless steel truly is, let’s talk about the types of stainless steel there are and share with you what properties make stainless steel what it is. But first, what is stainless steel?
What Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, chromium, and other metals, and it is this combination of metals that gives it its unique properties.
The chromium in stainless steel forms a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the metal, which protects it from corrosion. This layer of oxide is so thin that it is transparent, and it is this transparency that gives stainless steel its distinctive mirror-like finish.
The other metals in stainless steel also contribute to its durability and resistance to corrosion. For example, the addition of molybdenum increases its corrosion resistance, while the addition of nickel increases its strength and hardness.
What Types of Stainless Steel Are There?
There are many different types of stainless steel, each with its own unique properties and applications. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the most common types of stainless steel, what they’re used for, and their key characteristics.
The most common types of stainless steel are austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, and duplex.
Austenitic stainless steel is the most widely used type of stainless steel. It has a high chromium and nickel content, making it highly corrosion-resistant. It’s also non-magnetic and has a low carbon content, making it ideal for welding and fabrication.
Ferritic stainless steel is less corrosion-resistant than austenitic stainless steel, but it’s less expensive and has a higher melting point. It’s also magnetic.
Martensitic stainless steel is similar to ferritic stainless steel, but it has a higher carbon content, making it harder and more brittle. It’s also magnetic.
Duplex stainless steel is a combination of austenitic and ferritic stainless steel, and it offers the best of both worlds in terms of corrosion resistance and strength.
What Grades of Stainless Steel Are There?
There are many different grades of stainless steel, and each grade has its own unique properties. The most common grades of stainless steel are 304 and 316.
Grade 304 stainless steel is the most widely used grade of stainless steel. It is austenitic, meaning it can be heat treated to increase its strength and hardness. This grade of stainless steel is also non-magnetic.
Grade 316 stainless steel is similar to grade 304, but it has a higher molybdenum content, which gives it better corrosion resistance. This grade of stainless steel is also non-magnetic.
Both grade 304 and grade 316 stainless steel is available in a variety of different finishes, including brushed, polished, and mirror.
As you can see, there are many types of metal out there, and stainless steel is just one of them! So, what separates stainless steel from other metals? The answer is its unique composition. Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, chromium, and nickel, which gives it its resistance to rust and corrosion. These characteristics make it one of the most versatile metals around, and more often than not, you might find yourself needing to use it for those very properties.
CSM Fabrication Welding offers the best metal fabrication and welding services in Perth, helping those looking for metal-related services meet their needs. If you are looking for stainless steel fabrication, get in touch with us today!