Stainless steel is a popular metal among fabrication shops and manufacturers. It is a versatile material capable of providing products with the qualities they require to endure challenging environments. While many consider this metal to be ideal for their products, it can be difficult to metamorphose into the right shapes using specific procedures. For many fabricators, while stainless machining ensures resilient results, the process can be testing.
Stainless Steel Properties
Stainless steel remains a popular choice by fabrication shops and industrial works for several indisputable reasons. The metal possesses:
- Corrosion resistance
- High ductility
- Low maintenance
These are all properties that make stainless steel a preferred choice but also affect its machinability.
Machinable Stainless Steel Grades
Not all stainless steel is machinable. Different grades are easier. Stainless machining is more easily accomplished using the two following grades of stainless steel:
- 303: A ferritic stainless steel often called on to produce fasteners, fittings, and gears
- 416: An austenitic stainless steel commonly employed to fabricate axles, shafts, and fasteners
Both of these grades of stainless steel feature a higher level of Sulphur. This chemical element is a deliberate addition – one made to make it easier for fabrications shops to machine these two grades of stainless steel.
Stainless steel does offer challenges for those machining it. However, certain things can mitigate major problems. What is essential is to choose the right grade of steel. Combining this with the proper cutting tools, the right lubricants, the correct speed rate and the precise approach to the cutting parameters can alleviate some of the difficulties that occur during stainless machining. By selecting a company that fully understands the problems that can occur and can handle them appropriately, while meeting your company’s specifications, it is feasible to obtain exacting stainless components through machining.