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Making Stainless Steel and Its Benefits

In many applications, stainless steel fasteners are often recommended for use for a number of reasons.

To understand why stainless steel fasteners are so popular and beneficial for many applications, we must first examine how stainless steel is created. Stainless steel is the term used to define steels that are highly resistant to rusting and tarnishing. These steels also house two or more separate elements that are alloyed together. The simplest way for stainless steel to be created is with the addition of chromium to ordinary steel, making it corrosion resistant. The alloy that the steel is mixed with contributes to the mechanical properties of the stainless steel and how well the stainless steel resists corrosion.

Stainless Steel Fastener Strength

To improve the metal’s workability, nickel is added to help stabilize the structure. In some cases, nickel is replaced with manganese, which yields similar results. Other alloys are also added to enhance the metals strength and machining abilities. Carbon and nitrogen are direct influencers of the strength of the stainless steel and sulfur and selenium improve the machining. In some cases, for different results, alloys such as aluminum, titanium or columbium can be added as well. The addition of these alloys further increases the strength mechanical properties of the metal while still maintaining its integrity to corrosion resistance.

Corrosion Resistance

Stainless steel fasteners are resistant to corrosion because of the chromium present in the metal. When 11 percent or more chromium is added to steel, it forms a microscopic film of chromium oxide on the surface of the alloy. This film may be microscopic, but it is successful in preventing surface corrosion and also prevents any corrosion from reaching the internal metal. Since the chromium oxide is bonded solidly to the surface of the metal, even in the event of surface damage, recently exposed chromium will react with oxygen to create a new protective layer. In addition to Chromium, molybdenum is also added to prevent corrosion.

It is important to understand these elements of stainless steel fasteners in order to determine if that is what needs to be used in a particular application. If you are interested in learning more about stainless steel fasteners, their makeup or how they are used, contact Bossard at ProvenProductivity@bossard.com.


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September 23, 2014

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