What is 'multiple certification'?
This is where a batch of steel meets more than one specification or grade. It is a way of allowing melting shops to produce stainless steel more efficiently by restricting the number of different types of steel. The chemical composition and mechanical properties of the steel can meet more than one grade within the same standard or across a number of standards. This also allows stockholders to minimise stock levels.
For example, it is common for 1.4401 and 1.4404 (316 and 316L) to be dual certified - that is the carbon content is less than 0.030%. Steel certified to both European and US standards is also common.
What surface finishes are available on stainless steels?
There are many different types of surface finish on stainless steel. Some of these originate from the mill but many are applied later during processing, for example polished, brushed, blasted, etched and coloured finishes.
The importance of surface finish in determining the corrosion resistance of the stainless steel surface cannot be overemphasised. A rough surface finish can effectively lower the corrosion resistance to that of a lower grade of stainless steel.
Can I use stainless steel at high temperatures?
Various types of stainless steel are used across the whole temperature range from ambient to 1100 deg C. The choice of grade depends on several factors:
- Maximum temperature of operation
- Time at temperature, cyclic nature of process
- Type of atmosphere, oxidising , reducing, sulphidising, carburising.
- Strength requirement
In the European standards, a distinction is made between stainless steels and heat-resisting steels. However, this distinction is often blurred and it is useful to consider them as one range of steels.
Increasing amounts of Chromium and silicon impart greater oxidation resistance. Increasing amounts of Nickel impart greater carburisation resistance.
Can I use stainless steel at low temperatures?
Austenitic stainless steels are extensively used for service down to as low as liquid helium temperature (-269 deg C). This is largely due to the lack of a clearly defined transition from ductile to brittle fracture in impact toughness testing.
Toughness is measured by impacting a small sample with a swinging hammer. The distance which the hammer swings after impact is a measure of the toughness. The shorter the distance, the tougher the steel as the energy of the hammer is absorbed by the sample. Toughness is measured in Joules (J). Minimum values of toughness are specified for different applications. A value of 40 J is regarded as reasonable for most service conditions.
Steels with ferritic or martensitic structures show a sudden change from ductile (safe) to brittle (unsafe) fracture over a small temperature difference. Even the best of these steels show this behaviour at temperatures higher than -100 deg C and in many cases only just below zero.
In contrast austenitic steels only show a gradual fall in the impact toughness value and are still well above 100 J at -196 deg C.
Another factor in affecting the choice of steel at low temperature is the ability to resist transformation from austenite to martensite.
Is stainless steel non-magnetic?
It is commonly stated that “stainless steel is non-magnetic”. This is not strictly true and the real situation is rather more complicated. The degree of magnetic response or magnetic permeability is derived from the microstructure of the steel. A totally non-magnetic material has a relative magnetic permeability of 1. Austenitic structures are totally non-magnetic and so a 100% austenitic stainless steel would have a permeability of 1. In practice this is not achieved. There is always a small amount of ferrite and/or martensite in the steel and so permeability values are always above 1. Typical values for standard austenitic stainless steels can be in the order of 1.05 – 1.1.
It is possible for the magnetic permeability of austenitic steels to be changed during processing. For example, cold work and welding are liable to increase the amount of martensite and ferrite respectively in the steel. A familiar example is in a stainless steel sink where the flat drainer has little magnetic response whereas the pressed bowl has a higher response due to the formation of martensite particularly in the corners.
In practical terms, austenitic stainless steels are used for “non-magnetic” applications, for example magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In these cases, it is often necessary to agree a maximum magnetic permeability between customer and supplier. It can be as low as 1.004.
Martensitic, ferritic, duplex and precipitation hardening steels are magnetic.
How many types of stainless steel are there?
Stainless steel is usually divided into 5 types:
- Ferritic – These steels are based on Chromium with small amounts of Carbon usually less than 0.10%. These steels have a similar microstructure to carbon and low alloy steels. They are usually limited in use to relatively thin sections due to lack of toughness in welds. However, where welding is not required they offer a wide range of applications. They cannot be hardened by heat treatment. High Chromium steels with additions of Molybdenum can be used in quite aggressive conditions such as sea water. Ferritic steels are also chosen for their resistance to stress corrosion cracking. They are not as formable as austenitic stainless steels. They are magnetic.
- Austenitic - These steels are the most common. Their microstructure is derived from the addition of Nickel, Manganese and Nitrogen. It is the same structure as occurs in ordinary steels at much higher temperatures. This structure gives these steels their characteristic combination of weldability and formability. Corrosion resistance can be enhanced by adding Chromium, Molybdenum and Nitrogen. They cannot be hardened by heat treatment but have the useful property of being able to be work hardened to high strength levels whilst retaining a useful level of ductility and toughness. Standard austenitic steels are vulnerable to stress corrosion cracking. Higher nickel austenitic steels have increased resistance to stress corrosion cracking. They are nominally non-magnetic but usually exhibit some magnetic response depending on the composition and the work hardening of the steel.
- Martensitic - These steels are similar to ferritic steels in being based on Chromium but have higher Carbon levels up as high as 1%. This allows them to be hardened and tempered much like carbon and low-alloy steels. They are used where high strength and moderate corrosion resistance is required. They are more common in long products than in sheet and plate form. They have generally low weldability and formability. They are magnetic.
- Duplex - These steels have a microstructure which is approximately 50% ferritic and 50% austenitic. This gives them a higher strength than either ferritic or austenitic steels. They are resistant to stress corrosion cracking. So called “lean duplex” steels are formulated to have comparable corrosion resistance to standard austenitic steels but with enhanced strength and resistance to stress corrosion cracking. “Superduplex” steels have enhanced strength and resistance to all forms of corrosion compared to standard austenitic steels. They are weldable but need care in selection of welding consumables and heat input. They have moderate formability. They are magnetic but not so much as the ferritic, martensitic and PH grades due to the 50% austenitic phase.
- Precipitation hardening (PH) - These steels can develop very high strength by adding elements such as Copper, Niobium and Aluminium to the steel. With a suitable “aging” heat treatment, very fine particles form in the matrix of the steel which imparts strength. These steels can be machined to quite intricate shapes requiring good tolerances before the final aging treatment as there is minimal distortion from the final treatment. This is in contrast to conventional hardening and tempering in martensitic steels where distortion is more of a problem. Corrosion resistance is comparable to standard austenitic steels like 1.4301 (304).
What forms of corrosion can occur in stainless steels?
The most common forms of corrosion in stainless steel are:
- Pitting corrosion - The passive layer on stainless steel can be attacked by certain chemical species. The chloride ion Cl- is the most common of these and is found in everyday materials such as salt and bleach. Pitting corrosion is avoided by making sure that stainless steel does not come into prolonged contact with harmful chemicals or by choosing a grade of steel which is more resistant to attack. The pitting corrosion resistance can be assessed using the Pitting Resistance Equivalent Number calculated from the alloy content.
- Crevice corrosion - Stainless steel requires a supply of oxygen to make sure that the passive layer can form on the surface. In very tight crevices, it is not always possible for the oxygen to gain access to the stainless steel surface thereby causing it to be vulnerable to attack. Crevice corrosion is avoided by sealing crevices with a flexible sealant or by using a more corrosion resistant grade.
- General corrosion - Normally, stainless steel does not corrode uniformly as do ordinary carbon and alloy steels. However, with some chemicals, notably acids, the passive layer may be attacked uniformly depending on concentration and temperature and the metal loss is distributed over the entire surface of the steel. Hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid at some concentrations are particular aggressive towards stainless steel.
- Stress corrosion cracking (SCC) - This is a relatively rare form of corrosion which requires a very specific combination of tensile stress, temperature and corrosive species, often the chloride ion, for it to occur. Typical applications where SCC can occur are hot water tanks and swimming pools. Another form known as sulphide stress corrosion cracking (SSCC) is associated with hydrogen sulphide in oil and gas exploration and production.
- Intergranular corrosion - This is now quite a rare form of corrosion. If the Carbon level in the steel is too high, Chromium can combine with Carbon to form Chromium Carbide. This occurs at temperatures between about 450-850 deg C. This process is also called sensitisation and typically occurs during welding. The Chromium available to form the passive layer is effectively reduced and corrosion can occur. It is avoided by choosing a low carbon grade the so-called 'L' grades or by using a steel with Titanium or Niobium which preferentially combines with Carbon.
- Galvanic corrosion - If two dissimilar metals are in contact with each other and with an electrolyte e.g. water or other solution, it is possible for a galvanic cell to be set up. This is rather like a battery and can accelerate corrosion of the less 'noble' metal. It can avoided by separating the metals with a non-metallic insulator such as rubber.
Does stainless steel corrode?
Although stainless steel is much more resistant to corrosion than ordinary carbon or alloy steels, in some circumstances it can corrode. It is 'stain-less' not 'stain-impossible'. In normal atmospheric or water based environments, stainless steel will not corrode as demonstrated by domestic sink units, cutlery, saucepans and work-surfaces.
When was stainless steel discovered?
There is a widely held view that stainless steel was discovered in 1913 by Sheffield metallurgist Harry Brearley. He was experimenting with different types of steel for weapons and noticed that a 13% Chromium steel had not corroded after several months.
What Is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is an alloy of Iron with a minimum of 10.5% Chromium. Chromium produces a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the steel known as the 'passive layer'. This prevents any further corrosion of the surface. Increasing the amount of Chromium gives an increased resistance to corrosion.
Stainless steel also contains varying amounts of Carbon, Silicon and Manganese. Other elements such as Nickel and Molybdenum may be added to impart other useful properties such as enhanced formability and increased corrosion resistance.
What makes cadmium a desirable plating material for fasteners?
While there have been many issues involving the environment, safety, and health, the inherent lubricity characteristic of this plating material has never been completely duplicated over a full range of applications. For instance, in salt water, a cadmium coating forms a protective cadmium chloride surface layer which is not sacrificial.
What are the fasteners general guidelines for COATING THICKNESSES ?
To ensure thread assemble ability of mating fasteners, the specified thread fit allowance in the inch series, divided by 6, provides the maximum coating thickness.
Why use coating and plating in fasteners?
Usually coatings and platings are less expensive than employing an upgrade from a basic carbon steel to a premium material such as stainless steel. Coatings or platings may help to improve appearance, control torque tension, minimize thread seizure, and may serve as product identifiers.
How are the 3D pressure components tested?
The most accurate examination method is computed tomography (CT-scan).
Here not only the dimensional compliance can be checked, but also for example.
The density of the components.By coloring the test, deviation can be quickly recognized.
This method makes particular sense in components with internal structures.
Is metal 3D printing fundamentally more expensive than machining?
Yes and no. If one chooses a very "simply knitted" component, such as simple angles or brackets for example, you will definitely get away with the regular machining more cheaply.However, if one chooses a component, which is particularly emphasized by its complexity or bionic component geometry, one can achieve great savings.
How much should you charge for a 3D print?
Almost every maker gets stuck on this question: How much to charge? There are a lot of factors that need to be included in the price. Like the cost of the material used, the energy used, the time that the 3D Printer will take to printer the model.
How long does a 3D print take?
That depends on several factors:
1,The size of your model;
2,The material you are using;
3,The layer height (smaller layers mean more layers to print);
4,The complexity of your model;
5,Whether the object needs supports.
What material is used in 3D Printing?
Wood, plastic, metal and rubber type materials are all used by 3D printers.
What is the difference between SLA and FDM?
SLA : Stereolithography
SLA is a form of additive manufacturing technology used for creating models, prototypes and production parts in a layer by layer fashion using photopolymerization, a process by which light causes chains of molecules to link together forming polymers.
FDM : Fused Deposition Modelling
This is the type of printer that is most common as it is cheap and can be readily made with a few simple parts.
It works by heating up a piece of plastic and forcing it out of a small hole in the same manner as toothpaste.
Imagine drawing a picture with just a tube of toothpaste by squeezing a line out and going forwards, backwards, left and right only.
Let that first picture harden and then do the same again slightly higher with the next layer of the part you wish to build.
The plastic mentioned above is referred to as filament and can come in a variety of materials, textures and colours.
Different materials can be used for different applications.
Wood, plastic, metal and rubber type materials are all used by 3D printers.
What is Metal 3D Printing?
3Dprinting is a way to prototype parts rapidly in which a real object is created from a 3D design.
The digital 3D model can be saved in a variety of standard formats including STL and OBJ and then uploaded to a 3D printer for processing. The 3D printer then prints the design layer by layer and forms a real object.