Choosing the right stainless steel grade can be a tough job especially if one does not know how to go about it. Selecting the right type will help one get the best product. There are over 60 stainless steel grades thus making it hard to choose the right one. Given all these varieties, it is easy for a person to become confused. Here are just some of the factors that one should consider when looking for a stainless steel product that will provide the best services.
The environment in which stainless steel product is installed is essential when making a decision. In an environment with low corrosion, then a steel grade such as 303 can be used. However, in a more corrosive environment, 316 grade will be appropriate. Therefore, the environment will help one identify the suitable grade.
The temperature is an essential factor to consider when choosing a stainless steel grade. High temperatures will accelerate the corrosion rates thus putting additional pressure on the steel products. Thus, they need a higher grade of stainless steel that is suitable for such high temperatures. Therefore, a grade like 321 or 253MA will be suitable for the high temperatures.
Certain grades have a low magnetic response such as the austenitic grades. On the other hand, grades with high nickel content are suitable for non-magnetic conditions. There are also those grades which are ferromagnetic such as the martensitic stainless steel grades. Therefore, one needs to choose the magnetic response required.
The steel strength is a crucial consideration when choosing the grade. The steel strength will depend on the type of environment and steel's purpose. There is higher strength steel like the duplex, austenitic and martensitic. However, the most durable steel may not be the best depending on the process. For instance, the austenitic steel is not suitable for welding purposes.
Cost is also a vital factor when choosing the stainless steel grade. The cost needs to be assessed not only on the initial price but life-cycle basis as well. Stainless steel products have a longer life, and thus the cost will be on that basis.
The above factors are just some of the things to consider when getting a steel grade for steel manufacturing. Making the right choice will result in the best product. Therefore, a lot of care must be taken when choosing a stainless steel grade.