Uses of Stainless Steel
Continental Steel is a leading global supplier of quality metals, including stainless steel, which we offer in numerous grades and forms. Stainless steel offers uniquely beneficial characteristics compared to regular steel and is a vital material in many industries. This blog post will discuss stainless steel’s unique attributes, its applications and benefits, and the various grades we offer.
Stainless Steel From Continental Steel
Continental Steel supplies a comprehensive assortment of stainless steel grades, forms, finishes, and gauges, as well as width and length variations. Stainless steel is an alloy comprised of nickel, niobium, molybdenum, and a minimum of 10.5% chromium. In comparison to regular steel, it does not easily rust, corrode, or stain. Since stainless steel is used throughout such a wide variety of industries and applications, there are numerous forms to choose from.
Stainless steel is classified into five categories based on composition and manufacturing processes. These types are austenitic, ferritic, duplex, martensitic, and precipitation hardened. They are available in different series that each display unique attributes. The 300 series of stainless steel grades are comprised of austenitic chromium-nickel alloys. The most commonly used type within this series is type 304. Type 316 is another commonly used type, typically found in medical or food-related applications. It is also referred to as “marine grade.” In addition to these popular grades, Continental Steel offers a wide selection of stainless steel grades, which include:
Low Carbon Grades
High Carbon Grades
As well as PH Precipitation Hardened Condition.
The 400 series of stainless steel is comprised of ferritic and martensitic chromium alloys. Within this series, type 409 is the most cost-effective and is commonly used in automobile exhausts. Other notable types include 416, which is easily machinable, and 420, surgical steel or cutlery grade, which features excellent polishability. Other 400 series grades we supply include:
- Custom 455
- Custom 465
Continental Steel works extensively with super duplex stainless steel grades, including 2205 duplex, Super Duplex 2507, 2304 duplex, LDX 2101 (UNS S32101), and 2501. These grades of stainless steel are used in many marine applications due to their high tensile strength and resistance to corrosion. Applications include seawater systems, pressure vessels, storage tanks, desalination plants, umbilicals / coiled tube, and flue-gas cleaning.
The numerous types and grades of stainless steel come in different forms, such as:
- Polished or grit material
- Large diameter round bar
- Small Diameter
- Perforated sheets
- Seamless and welded pipe and tube
- Plates, sheets, and coils
- Pump shaft quality (PSQ)
- Boat Shaft Quality (BSQ)
- Sturcturals (channels, angles, beams)
Stainless Steel Applications & Uses
With such a wide variety of forms available and numerous beneficial qualities, stainless steel is used throughout numerous industries, such as:
- Aerospace: Used in fuel lines as well as exhaust and structural components.
- Architecture and construction: Bridges, sculptures, airport roofs, and other structures all require stainless steel’s strength and weight efficiency.
- Food industry: Used to produce knife blades, grills, sinks, saucepans, dishwashers, tables, easy-to-sanitize surfaces, breweries, sanitary tubes, and other kitchen appliances
- Marine: Used in shipbuilding to construct cargo tanks due to its mechanical efficiency, and also in seawater reverse osmosis units.
- Medical: Martensitic stainless steels are used to produce surgical instruments such as knives, clamps, needle holders, forceps, pacemakers, cannulated tubes, and more.
Both highly specialized, technical applications and commercial applications alike rely on various forms of stainless steel to develop reliable, cost-effective, and attractive components.
Benefits of Using Stainless Steel
Stainless steel offers numerous beneficial qualities, including:
- Corrosion resistance: All grades of stainless steel feature high resistance to corrosion
- High and low-temperature resistance: Stainless steel is highly resilient to oxidation, which enables it to retain its strength in temperature extremes.
- Strength: Highly durable with excellent impact resistance, stainless steel retains its shape well and has a low susceptibility to brittleness.
- Ease of fabrication: At its melting point, stainless steel is easily fabricated, cut, or welded.
- Aesthetic appeal: Stainless steel is an elegant and modern-looking material that is a popular choice for home appliances and decor.
- Hygienic properties: Extremely easy to clean and sanitize, stainless steel features a non-porous surface that’s inhospitable to bacteria.
- Life cycle characteristics: Stainless steel is 100% recyclable as well as highly durable and low maintenance. This results in significant life cycle cost savings compared to alternative materials.
- Easily sterilized: It is ideal for hygienic environments since it is easily sterilized and resistant to corrosion
- Magnetic and non-magnetic grades: The availability of both magnetic and non-magnetic grades makes stainless steel suitable for a wide range of applications. Magnetic metals are unsuitable for many applications. By selecting a non-magnetic stainless steel for these applications, you get the benefits of a stainless steel without the challenges of a ferritic metal.
In many applications, the durability and high-performance capabilities of stainless steel make it a cost-saving choice throughout the life cycle of a project.
Continental Steel: Your Stainless Steel Partner
With so many types of stainless steel being used in diverse applications, it’s important to partner with an expert who understands your needs. Since 1985, Continental Steel has offered a comprehensive selection of stainless steel grades and forms and are backed by decades of experience. To learn more about how our capabilities can help with your next project, contact us today.