Stainless steel has many unique and useful properties, making it one of the most common materials for construction. Due to the versatility of this material, many techniques for stainless steel fabrication have been made available to maximise its use. To understand the advantages and disadvantages of these processes, it is highly recommended to review some of them first. After all, each one serves a specific purpose.
The following are the three most commonly applied stainless steel fabricating processes:
1. Work Hardening– This is a process which involves deformation to strengthen the material. Compared to other types of steel, stainless steel work has faster hardening quality, even though the hard rate of the fabricated stainless steel mainly relies on the grade of the alloy.
2. Machining – There are a few grades, which become immune to chipping when alloyed with manganese sulfide. These include grades 303, 430, 410 and 416. Due to the presence of manganese sulfide that results in decreased corrosion resistance and ductility, these grades do not have a wide range of machining applications.
How to machine stainless steel:
- Apply coolants to or lubricate the equipment.
- To dissipate the heat, use large tools.
- Always use chip breakers to deflect debris.
- Always sustain light cuts and constant feeds.
- Choose a machine tool that will reduce vibration.
- Keep the cutting edge sharp all the time.
3. Welding– The degree of efficiency in welding stainless steel depends on its grade. The different categories of stainless steel include austenitic, martensitic, ferrets stainless steel and duplex, and each requires different welding techniques. For example, while those from the martensitic family are ideal for welding, they may be prone to cracking. To lessen the risk, pre-heating and post-heating the material can solve the issue.
Although stainless steel is known for its work hardening rates and relatively high strength, it is malleable enough to take different shape forms when bent, machined, welded, folded, spun or deep drawn.