Have you ever considered stainless steel for a project only to reject the idea because of its cost? There’s no denying that stainless steel has a higher cost than other metals, but the initial investment can be justified by the numerous benefits that stainless steel offers both the engineer and the designer. Add this to the fact that stainless steel is likely to provide the best value for money over the life of your project and you might well want to reconsider.
Like every other metal, stainless steel naturally has its disadvantages. These are:
Its high initial cost
The implications of handling the metal with a lack of high quality equipment
Possible difficulties in welding stainless steel
Having said this, the reason to consider using stainless steel for your project is simply that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. So without further ado, let’s take a closer look.
Nowadays the emphasis on much that we do is the impact that it is having on communities with many organisations being increasingly aware of this fact. Stainless steel is widely recycled with over 50% coming from previously melted stainless steel scraps, thereby reducing waste.
Stainless steel is resistant to corrosion and retains its shiny good looks. This fact impacts both the overall value and the long term investment of using stainless steel in your project. It is the chromium content in stainless steel which offers this resistance to corrosion while the different levels of alloy impact corrosion in different settings. Lower grades of alloy, for example, work better with wet elements while a high grade of alloy is a better choice for environments that are acidic or alkaline.
Ease of fabrication
Provided the fabricator is using modern technologies and high quality equipment, then it’s easy to carry out any process from cutting to welding and everything in between. The only difficulties arise when outdated equipment is being used.
Resistance to fire and heat
The fact that stainless steel is resistant to fire and heat also adds to the long term investment of using this material. By choosing high chromium and nickel alloy grades it means that stainless steel can be used effectively in boilers, feed water heaters, valves and other heat exchangers.
Long term value
As stated earlier its the initial cost of stainless steel that puts the uninformed off using this type of steel. It’s important to look at the life cycle of the material you’re considering before making a final decision. Choosing stainless steel which is maintenance free means that as a designer or engineer you can focus all of your efforts on a great process and an even greater product.
If you’re considering a new project and not sure what type of steel to use, then come and talk to Metro Steel. We’ve got decades of experience and are more than happy to offer advice to help you choose what’s right for you. Give us a call on 07 3204 1000 or drop by in person to see us at our purpose built facility at Kabi Circuit Deception Bay. We look forward to welcoming you.