The many benefits of stainless steel make it a powerful candidate in materials selection. Engineers and designers often underestimate or overlook these values because of what is viewed as the higher initial cost of stainless steel. However, over the total life of a project, stainless is often the best value option.
Corrosion Resistance – Chromium is the alloying element that imparts to Stainless Steel their corrosion resistant qualities.
Fire and Heat Resistance – Special high chromium and nickel-alloyed grades resist scaling and retain high strength at high temperatures.
Strength-to-Weight Advantage – The work hardening property of austenitic grades, that results in a significant strengthening of the material from cold working alone, and the high strength duplex grades, allow reduced material thickness over conventional grades yielding considerable cost savings.
Ease of Fabrication – Modern steel-making techniques mean that stainless can be cut welded, bent, formed, machined, assembled and fabricated as readily as traditional steels.
Impact Resistance – The austenitic microstructure of the 300 series provides high toughness at elevated temperatures ranging far below freezing, making these steels particularly suited to cryogenic applications.
Long-Term Value – In considering total cost, it is appropriate to consider material and production cost AND the life cycle cost. When the total life cycle costs are considered, stainless is often the least expensive material option.
100 % Recyclable – Over 50% of new stainless comes from old remelted stainless steel scrap, thereby completing the full life cycle.
Image credit: Eagle Stainless Tube & Fabrication, Inc.