Stainless steel is one of the most popular metals in the world. It’s very appealing and it’s known for its ability to resist corrosion very well. There are indeed many benefits you can get from this type of steel. 

There are also a lot of stainless steel alloys you can choose from, and it can be overwhelming. Understanding the different characteristics and properties of stainless steel will help you determine the best type for you. 

Corrosion Resistance

As mentioned, stainless steel is popular for its ability to resist corrosion. The thing is, not all stainless steel alloys have the same levels of corrosion resistance. Therefore, you need to consider the environment where you’ll use the metal to assess the situation. 

Austenitic stainless steel is known for the highest level of corrosion resistance due to the high level of chromium alloys. You also need to think about heat treatment because this has an effect on how this metal responds. 

Environment

Where you will use stainless steel plays a crucial role in the decision-making process. The operating environment of the steel can affect its performance. If you want the best all-around stainless steel, the alloys 304 and 316 are perfect. 

Strength

If you need the steel for heavy-duty applications, you need a stronger stainless steel alloy; choose one that has chromium and nickel. Stainless steel grades like the 420 can provide almost triple the tensile strength of 304. 

Process temperatures

An easy way to find a stainless steel alloy is to look into its maximum use temperature or melting point. It’s crucial you understand the heat treatment for each alloy or the sterilization process because they can push the limits of the steel. 

Formability and Weldability

It’s easy to get tempted by more affordable stainless steel alloys in the market, but they tend to corrode or crack when welded. If you need a stainless steel alloy with the best weldability, you can use the austenitic alloy. On the other hand, if you need an alloy with good formability, an austenitic grade of stainless steel is the best choice. 

The Right Stainless Steel Alloy

Indeed, there are many options available for you, and the choice you make will depend on a lot of factors. For one, understanding the specifications of your project is crucial because this will make the process a lot easier as it will narrow down your search. From there, all you need to think about the most are the features you need. This is when you need to take the time to research and familiarize yourself with stainless steel grades that will suit your needs. 

Conclusion

When you know the type of stainless steel alloy you need, it’s time to look for a quality distributor. You want a company that can provide you with prompt service and will deliver your items as soon as possible. Again, research is key here. When you find one, you get yourself a regular supplier. So the next time you need stainless steel, all you need is to call and order. 

Looking for a reputable distributor? KGS Steel is one of the best steel distributors and service centers in Birmingham. We are a full-line structural steel and carbon steel service center. Contact us today!