In this day and age, one of the commonest materials from which fasteners are made is stainless steel. 316 stainless steel carriage bolts and grade 8 steel hex lag bolts are extremely ubiquitous these days. However, most people who use them are usually not familiar with the characteristics of stainless steel as a material used to build fasteners. It’s important for you to gain even a basic understanding of how this material works, so that you can then figure out how to take advantage of it in any setting. It’s also a good idea to know of the different types of stainless steel that are available, and what their applications are.
Why is stainless steel so popular?
Over the past few years, the use of stainless steel has become more common. This is mainly due to the fact that it’s not only resistant to corrosion, but can also maintain its strength even when subjected to very high temperatures. Any material made from stainless steel is likely to last very long in most environments regardless of humidity levels or any other factors that might increase the risk of rusting, such as the presence of saline water. Some of the common industries in which stainless steel fasteners are used include in architecture, automotive design and in the design of electronics.
The types of stainless steel you are likely to come across
When you are shopping for stainless steel fasteners, it would be a good idea for you to understand that there are many different subtypes available. Knowing about each will make it much easier for you to determine which one to use for a particular application. Some of the most common include:
Type 304: This is one of the most common types of stainless steel in the industry. In fact, more than half the stainless steel produced in the world is made of this type. Type 304 stainless steel is usually designed to withstand ordinary corrosion, and is designated as austenitic (contains chromium and nickel).
Type 316: Type 316 stainless steel is also austenitic. However, it contains an additional 2 to 3% of Molybdenum in addition to the chromium and nickel. This makes it much stronger compared to type 304 stainless steel. The addition of Molybdenum in the alloy also makes it a bit more expensive as well.
Type 409: This is technically known as a ferric type of stainless steel. It contains plain chromium, and is well known for resisting very high temperatures. It also happens to have the lowest grade of chromium in all types of stainless steel, and is for this reason one of the cheapest you can find.
Type 410: This is a martensitic stainless steel, which means that it contains plain chromium. This makes it particularly strong. It’s also cheap and heat treatable, and is also non corrosive. Due to all these features, it’s the most ideal type of steel used in heavy duty settings.
Type 430: Type 430 steel is also very commonly used. It’s a ferritic stainless steel, and has features of resistance against corrosion. It’s mostly used for decorative purposes.
Started my career in the fastener world in 1969 at, Parker Kalon Corp. a NJ based screw manufacturer located in Clifton, NJ working in inventory control, scheduling secondary production and concluding there in purchasing. In 1971 I accepted a sales position at Star Stainless Screw Co., Totowa, NJ working in inside sales and later as an outside salesman, having a successful career at Star I had the desire with a friend to start our own fastener distribution company in 1980 named: Divspec, Kenilworth, NJ. This was a successful adventure but ended in 1985 with me starting Melfast in August 1985 and have stayed competitive and successful to date. Melfast serves the OEM market with approximately 400 accounts nationally.