Stainless steel is a popular choice for high-quality metal fabrication. The material offers excellent machinability and cost-cutting advantages, making it the material of choice for many teams when designing innovative products. In this article, we’ll examine the advantages of stainless steel for many metal fabrication projects and why specific industries rely on the material for ISO compliance.
How Stainless Steel Is Made
Stainless steel is an alloy composed of iron and carbon. Many metal fabricators use raw materials including iron ore, nickel, and chromium to create this highly durable product. Ask your fabrication team for more information about the composition of their stainless steel and the various grades available.
7 Benefits of Stainless Steel for Metal Fabricators
Manufacturers favor stainless steel over other materials because it supports rapid, high-quality metal fabrication in several ways:
Stainless steel is suitable for a wide variety of applications. You’ll find it in automotive parts, communication devices, medical instruments, and many more products. The food production industry uses it frequently to ensure product freshness and safety during shipping and storage. This material is incredibly versatile, making it a highly efficient choice for countless projects.
#2. Corrosion Resistance
Some products need an extended shelf life. Often, stainless steel helps producers attain it by providing long-term airtightness and built-in rust prevention. The metal doesn’t corrode easily and outlasts other materials in harsh or abrasive environments.
#3. Heat Resistance
Stainless steel is resistant to extreme temperatures, providing durability in the cold and heat. That means fabricators can design products without worrying about diverse environmental conditions. It can also be more securely welded, allowing products to better resist bending and breakage.
#4. ISO Compliance
In many industries, ISO standards require strict adherence. Consumers want to buy hygienic products, and many manufacturers need sterilized components for prototyping and assembly. Stainless steel provides superior cleanliness in a variety of environments.
Many furniture manufacturers rely on stainless steel because of its ultra-durable properties. Engineers can make kitchen appliances, bedding, tables, cabinets, and other ordinary household objects. Stainless steel offers excellent impact resistance and strength, making it suitable for heavy-duty products and items in high-traffic areas.
Because engineers can fabricate the alloy from various raw materials, stainless steel is among the most sustainable materials for metal fabrication. However, global supply chains can still impact availability, pricing, and quality. Consult with your fabrication team to ensure adequate lead times and affordable processing.
#7. Long-Term Value
Stainless steel can provide tremendous value for many years. This means metal fabricators can use it to reduce manufacturing expenses without sacrificing quality, fidelity, or longevity. Especially in extreme environments, other materials could require untimely and costly repairs or replacements.
Cons of Stainless Steel
Using stainless steel might not work for all projects. Here’s what you need to know about its limitations:
- Some products can be more expensive for consumers when made with this material.
- In some applications, stainless steel products can be more challenging to keep clean than those made with other materials.
- Many steel alloys are non-magnetic, limiting some of their applications.
- Stainless steel is not fireproof.
- Some stainless steel structures can buckle without adequate reinforcements.
How to Determine If Stainless Steel Is Right For Your Project
Could stainless steel make the most sense for your metal fabrication project? Consider these factors:
- Calculate lead times. Make the most of your schedule by ensuring materials are suitable for your proprietary design.
- Determine your budget. Consider whether cost-effective stainless steel could save you money over more expensive alternatives for your project.
- Consider the possibilities. Discuss the pros and cons of each material option with your fabrication team.
- Look for examples. Research other products made with stainless steel to evaluate where your design stands in the industry, and think about what your competitors are doing with stainless steel or other alloys to stay ahead of the curve.
- Consult your team. Ask engineers and fabricators to explain the details of your project and keep communication flowing through each stage.
Stainless steel can be an ideal choice for fabricating metals in extreme temperatures and a practical solution for products that will be exposed to high-pressure environments, weather changes, and other challenging conditions. Learn about the KRYTON Metals fabrication process, or explore our blog for more industry insight and tips.