Archives: FAQs

What Is the Difference Between Stainless and Ordinary Steel?

All steel is iron based, but stainless steel contains chromium at 10% or more by weight. Steel is susceptible to rust, an active iron oxide film that forms when steel is exposed to air and moisture. This iron oxide film is active and accelerates corrosion by forming more iron oxide. Stainless steel is rust resistant… Read more »

What Are The Characteristics of Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel’s non-corrosive characteristic gives it a long lifespan. With the addition of nickel, the material survives even longer and in several types of environments. By adding molybdenum and nitrogen, stainless gains improved pitting and crevice corrosion resistance. Stainless steel has a high strength-to-weight ratio even at high temperatures. Adding alloys to stainless steel helps… Read more »

How are the Different Types of Stainless Steel Classified?

Stainless steels are classified according to their metallurgical structure: austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, precipitation hardening, and duplex. Austenitic stainless steels contain chromium and nickel. They are hardened only through cold working and are non-magnetic although some may become magnetic by cold working. Austenitic stainless steels are identified as T300 series stainless steels (typical alloys T304, T316)…. Read more »

What Typical Applications Are Suitable For Each Series of Stainless?

Applications for stainless steel can vary but some common examples include cookware, cutlery, sinks, aerospace components, medical device instruments, oil and gas lines, beverage applications, or laboratory instruments. Stainless steel is a good choice for applications where corrosion and heat resistance are important in material selection. More specifically, austenitic stainless steels are used for heat… Read more »

Is Stainless Steel Magnetic?

Because the predominant element in steel—iron—is magnetic, most steels do have magnetic properties. This is true of many stainless steels, too. All the ferritic, martensitic, and precipitation hardening grades are magnetic. The high nickel and chromium contents of the T300 series of austenitic stainless steels renders the alloys initially non-magnetic. For instance, a common austenitic… Read more »

What Does Gauge Mean?

The “gauge” of stainless steel refers to the thickness. Gauge is represented numerically. For stainless steel, as the gauge number increases the material thickness decreases. This means 14 gauge is thicker than 16 gauge.

What Does the L After a Stainless Steel Type Mean?

The L indicates low carbon grades. The “L” grade material helps reduce the possibility of carbide precipitation forming during processes such as welding. Carbide precipitation may then lead to intergranular corrosion attack where the material becomes more sensitive to possible corrosion. Typically the carbon is kept to .03% or under; however, depending upon the specification… Read more »

What is the Difference Between Tubing and Pipe?

In some instances the terms may be used interchangeably; however, there are some differences is in how the material is ordered and toleranced. Tubing is typically ordered to outside diameter and wall thickness; however, it may also be ordered as OD & ID or ID and Wall Thickness. Although tubing has three dimensions (O.D., I.D…. Read more »

What is the “Annealed” Condition?

Stainless Steel is usually sold in the “annealed” condition. It means that the material is in the “soft” or annealed condition. The 300 series of stainless can not be hardened by heat treatment (like carbon steels) but can be hardened by cold working. This cold work can be eliminated by heat treatment (annealing) that will… Read more »