Thursday, January 15, 2009

Stainless Steel Characteristics

Diane posting, and I’m here at J.W. Winco wondering if we will get above zero temps today in New Berlin, WI. No matter, we Wisconsinites are hardy types, with temperature tolerances that rival AISI 304 stainless steel. Which brings me to today’s topic.

At J.W. Winco we sell a lot of stainless steel components used in applications in the medical, food, electronics and other industries. It’s common knowledge that when corrosion resistance is an essential characteristic of a piece of equipment, stainless steel is the material of choice. But what about if temperature tolerance is an issue?

Engineers understand that there are many different types of stainless steels and they all have slightly different characteristics. Sure, a food industry application suggests using stainless steel. But the specifics of the equipment may require a particular type. For example, let’s say you need to find appropriate handles for a cart that is going to need to serve both in high temperature and low temperature environments, like in a bakery operation. For that you would want to use American Standard Series 304 stainless steel (European Standard 1.4301), because it can stand cold as well as heat up to 700 degrees C.

[Incidentally, a good choice for such an application would be our GN 426.5 cabinet U-handles, pictured here. Got more questions about the material properties of these or any other of our products? Just call us at 800-877-8351, or post your question in a comment to this post.]

We have a great tool in the Technical Section on our Web site for finding a lot of information about stainless steel characteristics in one place, this handy chart, pictured here in the thumbnail. Six common types of stainless steel are evaluated, including chemical composition, tensile and yield strength, expansion and forging properties, suitability for welding, corrosion resistance, and other special characteristics. Typical applications for each type are also listed.

I can’t close today’s post on stainless steel without mentioning my personal favorite of the ~1,230 series of parts we offer, these GN 5335 stainless steel hand knobs. They are AISI Standard 303 and would work great as kitchen fittings. I just think they look really cool. Don’t forget the aesthetics of stainless steel, a material that can be attractive as well as functional.

Just like Wisconsinites!

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