Choose the Right Metal for the End-Use Environment.
Stainless steel is prized for its strength, durability and aesthetic qualities, so it’s often the “go-to” or “default” choice for many metal fabrication projects. But there are over 150 grades of stainless steel, and your end-use application should drive the type of stainless you select for the job. While most stainless fabrication projects will use something from the 300 series of stainless alloys, such as 304 stainless, other applications might require something different to give you the best results.
Stainless steel is not rust-proof, it is just more resistant than other metals. It does “stain less” but can be marred in some conditions. To select the right type of stainless steel (or other metal) for your job, you need to consider the end-use of your finished product, and the environment it will be used in.
For example, will your metal item be exposed to –
- Chlorinated water, like from a pool or fountain?
- Plant fertilizers, chemicals or pesticides used for lawns, gardens and planters?
- Deicing salt and chemicals used on streets, parking lots, stairs and walkways?
- Hot/cold temperature extremes, like those found in some factories, kitchens or intemperate climates?
- Other unique exposure factors?
Choosing the wrong stainless steel for your application can negate the benefits you thought you were getting, so think about your material choice. Foreman Fabricators can help you choose your material wisely.
By the Way, Do You Even Need to Go with Stainless Steel?
But wait! Depending on the application, stainless steel isn’t always the best choice. It’s more expensive than mild or carbon steels, and it takes extra effort to fabricate. For example, stainless steel requires more tack welds than carbon steel, it often requires the use of additional support fixtures to prevent warpage during welding, and it takes extra steps to avoid distortion when joining pieces of different thicknesses. Knife-sharp edges from shearing must be deburred for safety, and even more extra steps are required to properly finish stainless steel welds. That adds up to plenty of time and labor costs that simply might not be necessary for your project. So, the question is: “Does the end-use application of my fabrication justify the expense of using stainless steel?”
Foreman Can Help You Select the Right Metal for Your Job.
Foreman Fabricators has the experience and expertise to help you make the best metal choice for your project, whether it’s a particular type of stainless steel, or a carbon steel, or brass, bronze, copper, aluminum or more. Count on Foreman to help you choose the metal and fabrication process that will reflect your budget.