Steel is an indispensable resource across various industries because it is used as a structural material in constructing buildings, bridges, and other infrastructure. Outside of construction, steel is used to create automotive components, machinery, appliances, and tools that make our lives easier. Despite this, steel can be a double-edged sword because it is not always viable. For this reason, stainless steel is used.
Stainless steel is a steel alloy composed of at least 10.5% chromium, making it corrosion-resistant. This makes stainless steel more suitable for specific applications where steel would otherwise be susceptible to rust or oxidation. In construction, stainless steel is often used for fasteners, which hold structures together. Despite their benefits, many construction companies tend to pass on stainless steel fasteners because they think they are too fragile, which is never the case. For this reason, we will discuss how stainless steel fasteners can improve construction quality in this article.
A Brief Background on Stainless Steel Fasteners
The two most common stainless steel fasteners are the 304 and 316. Both are from the 300 series of stainless steel alloys and come in various sizes and grades. While their names are derived from their chemical makeup, the two metals have distinct mechanical characteristics.
Stainless Steel 304 Bolts are made of chromium and nickel, giving them excellent corrosion and oxidation resistance. This makes them a great choice for piping, kitchen equipment, pressure vessels, and car parts, and they are commonly used more often than Stainless Steel 316 Bolts.
Conversely, 316 stainless steel is also composed of chromium and nickel. However, molybdenum is added to increase its resistance to salt corrosion. It is more expensive than 304 stainless steel but offers increased protection in corrosive environments, such as marine applications and other places exposed to extreme elements. Due to its superior corrosion resistance, 316 stainless steel fasteners are often used in machinery and equipment that may be exposed to such extreme conditions.
Advantages of Using Stainless Steel Feathers
Stainless Steel 304 Hex Bolts are ideal for use in outdoor and corrosive environments because they are highly resistant to rust and corrosion. This fastener does not need additional treatments or coatings to protect it from the elements, making it an efficient and cost-effective choice. They are strong and durable and retain their attractive appearance longer than traditional low alloy steel fasteners. These fasteners are a great choice for outdoor projects, as they are highly resistant to rust and corrosion.
Stainless steel fasteners are resistant to corrosion because of the Chromium element they contain. This element reacts with oxygen in the air, creating a metal-oxide layer on the surface of the fastener that acts as an extra layer of protection. This layer can even renew itself if exposed to enough oxygen in its environment.
When stainless steel fasteners are exposed to an environment with oxygen, the oxygen molecules bond to the chromium molecules in the metal. In turn, this forms a protective surface layer that prevents corrosion. The environment needs oxygen to ensure that the stainless steel fasteners are protected from corrosion. This is easy to achieve in an open-air environment but more difficult in environments with oil or hydrocarbons.
Choosing the Right Steel Fastener
The easiest way to choose a suitable steel fastener is to consider its application. The environment in which the fastener will be used will determine the type of fastener needed. For instance, stainless steel is the best choice in an environment with high humidity as it is resistant to corrosion. Carbon steel is a better option in a dry environment because it is less expensive.
You must also ensure that the fastener is the correct size for the application. Too large or too small of a fastener can cause problems with the application. Additionally, the fastener should be strong enough to withstand the application’s load requirements.
Stainless steel fasteners are an indispensable resource because they are resistant to corrosion, have a longer life span, and are strong enough to hold up in various applications. If you do not know what fastener suits your application, consulting a professional is the best way to ensure you select the suitable fastener for your needs. This way, you can be sure that your chosen fastener will perform its job correctly and safely.
If you are looking for steel distributors in Nashville, TN, KGS Steel Nashville is for you! We use quality equipment to produce high-quality products for your projects at affordable prices. Call us today at 615 460 4620 to request a quote!