How to Find the Right Stainless Steel Grade for your Needs

Stainless steel products share many characteristics. However, they differ when it comes to grades. Types 321 stainless steel tube, for instance, varies from 302 with the addition of titanium stabilizer. Therefore, understanding the different grades available is critical to finding a product that matches your personal and budgetary preferences.

If you are planning to buy stainless steel, you’ve probably come across the term grades. The grade is how experts categorize the production specifications, mechanical properties, and composition of stainless steel. There are over 3,500 grades of stainless steel in the market, but these grades aren’t created the same.

Of course, choosing the right grade will boil down to your needs and preferences. For example, a 321 stainless steel tube can be a great choice if you look for a product that works well in high-temperature environments. Type 321 is a standard austenitic 18/8 chromium-nickel alloy blended with titanium. The titanium stabilizes the material and removes its susceptibility to the effects of intergranular corrosion. It is resistant to sterilizing solutions, atmospheric corrosion, and different types of inorganic and organic chemicals. You can also look into other options, including ferritic steel, which is cost-effective or duplex, which offers a little bit of ferritic and austenitic stainless steels.

With that in mind, here is how to find the right stainless steel grade for your needs.

Consider strength, toughness, and ductility

As we mentioned above, your needs will dictate the type of grade you end up with. Different stainless steel grades have different strength, toughness, and ductility. Stress means the amount of stress the tube can take before it deforms or fractures. Toughness is its ability to absorb energy before it fractures. While ductility is its ability to withstand molding without it breaking or losing strength.

Think about the form and process

You will want to bend or coil your stainless steel tubing to fit into your operations in many cases. So, if your tube will go through any form of the machining process, it is a good idea to ensure that its machining rate mitigates the risk of work hardening. Otherwise, you should go for a free machining grade.

Consider the corrosion-resistant threshold

Stainless steels are known to be corrosion resistant. However, different grades have different thresholds. Stainless steels usually have 10-30% chromium, and thus, are corrosion resistant. The addition of nickel in austenitic grades offers the highest ductility and toughness among stainless grades. Grades with nickel, molybdenum, and chromium have the highest corrosion threshold.

Look at the cost

Austenitic stainless steel tubes can be expensive than other alternatives. However, when you consider their corrosion-resistant nature, along with durability, easy maintenance, and versatility, then it offers an incredible ROI compared to other options. However, if saving is at the top of your mind, you may want to look at the cost-effective options like ferritic steel. They still offer the benefits of steel but come at a lower price.

Conclusion

All stainless steel tubes come with an intrinsic benefit of durability, corrosion resistance, and strength. What differentiates one grade from the other is the degree of this quality, which boils down to the composition and specifications.

Choosing the Right Stainless Steel Tube Vendor

One of the most challenging problems that first-time buyers face is finding the right stainless steel tube vendor in the market. With an incredible selection to pick from, one could get easily overwhelmed or intimidated by the process.

The market has no shortage of stainless steel manufacturers, suppliers and vendors. A quick search online will reveal dozens of options near you. This can be a great thing if you think about it from an “options” perspective. However, since these vendors aren’t created equally, picking any option without consideration might mean missing out on amazing deals – or quality products.

Unfortunately, many first time buyers make this mistake, and end up learning the hard way. In this article, we will discuss some of the top qualities you should be watching out for when choosing the right stainless steel tube vendor to ensure you get the best value out of your investment.

Consider industry reputation

Stainless steel tube manufacturers aren’t created equal – some are better than others. When you are looking for the right vendor, it is important to pay a close attention to the reputation. This is how well they are known in the market, and what they are known for. A good vendor will have a great reputation for selling quality products. You can check out their online reviews along with testimonials to have a clue of what other people think about the company. You can also check out their social media platforms for the same.

Consider the stainless steel grade

When checking the grade, you’ll need to pay attention to aspects like strength, toughness and ductility, form and process, preferences and the operating environment. Strength means the strength the tube can withstand before is deforms or fractures. Ductility is the tubes ability to be bent without breaking or losing strength. Basically, these aspects indicate quality of product.

Location

Location is another critical aspect. The internet has made it easy to buy solutions from different parts of the world. You could browse for and order stainless steel tube from American even when you are in Europe or China. But if you are concerned about the process of importing and duties that apply, or if you are only placing a small order, it might be a good idea to buy from a vendor near you. Better yet, you should find one who delivers to your country and is willing to work closely with your throughout the process.

Customer service

Find a company who values your business, and appreciates you as a client. You don’t want to be another number. That’s why you should only work with a vendor who answers your questions, addresses your concerns, and is happy to serve you. Good customer services means effective communication, proactive care, and flexibility to accommodate your needs.

Cost

Cost is usually the last thing you should worry about. Ideally, you want to check all the aspects mentioned above before you considering the cost. A reputable vendor with quality products might charge higher, but you are sure to get value for your money. The same cannot be said for all vendors.

Conclusion

Finding the right stainless steel tubes vendor can be easy or hard depending on what you know (or don’t know). But with these tips, you should be able to identify the right one for your needs.

8 Interesting Facts Related to Stainless Steel You Should Be Aware Of

Thinking or hearing about the word – stainless steel would ring your mind and images of different pipes, fittings, bar stocks, plates, flanges, bars, and so much would come to your mind.

Now stainless is everywhere, in the houses we live in, offices we sat in, our utilities, and much more. The world of stainless steel pipes and other items is not new. It took years and years to reach where it is now.

Now, we are putting some key facts related to stainless steel for you-

  1. Stainless Steel Can Stain

While we think of them as stainless, they can stain.

It creates a thin oxide film when exposed to oxygen, and can regain its original form.

Permanent damage will take too much time, and the oxidizing has to be too hard.

  1. Stainless Steel As Soap

There are ‘soaps’ crated using stainless steel which doesn’t work the regular soap but kills strong odors of onion, fish, and garlic from the hands.

  1. Stainless Steel Is Recyclable

As per the studies from the American Iron and Steel Institute, about 88% of the world’s total steel is recycled.

  1. Stainless Steel As Having Magnetic Properties

While most stainless steel elements are non-magnetic, one specific type i.e.

martensitic stainless steel is ferromagnetic can exhibit permanent magnetic properties.

  1. Stainless Steel In Multiple Forms

It can be drawn into a thin, or it can be turned into a wearable steel mesh, without losing the toughness and other properties.

  1. Stainless Steel Is Used in Clothing

It’s the versatility that stainless steel offers that specific stainless steel wires are used in clothing, for decoration or support.

  1. Stainless Steel Corrodes

Send an electrical pulse through a stainless steel wire, and you will notice it turning yellow and blue, a sign of oxidation.

  1. It Is Everywhere

From kitchen appliances to living room décor item to an accessible building made from stainless steel, you will find this metal everywhere.

Selecting the Right Grade of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is among the best corrosion resistance material out there. But that is not merely it; stainless steel has a lot of benefits including excellent formability, high strength-to-weight ratio, low maintenance, ability to recycle, etc. Owing to its versatility, stainless steel has a wide range of application. Stainless steel comes in a lot of different grades, and we will help you pick out the best for the job.

  1. Formability

If the application needs stainless steel with good formability, try not to use the martensitic category of stainless steel. Instead, you should opt for the austenitic grade (304 or ferritic grade (430) of stainless steel. Moreover, Martensitic stainless steel can get brittle and lacks adequate formability.

  1. For Welding

Welding stainless steel is completely different from welding carbon steel as there are high chances of hot stress corrosion cracking, intergranular corrosion, etc. Austenitic group of stainless steel are among the most welded stainless steel. If you are welding, then it is recommended that you use 304L or 347 grade of austenitic stainless steel. While the grade 304L features lower carbon, 347 comes with niobium stabilizers, assisting in the protection of intergranular corrosion. You can also use ferritic stainless steel grade, including 439 or 439.

  1. For Machinery

If your process requires stainless steel to be a machine, you have to be more specific about the grade of stainless steel you choose. While a majority of stainless steel can be machined, some are more complex than the others. You need to optimize the machining process to boost the efficiency of your work, along with using the right tool. Sulfur can be added to improve the machinability, which you can find in grade 303 stainless steel. Additionally grade 416 stainless steel tube is another good example of it.

  1. The level of Corrosion Resistance

Stainless steel is known for its corrosion resistance properties. However, different grade of stainless steel offers a distinctive level of corrosion resistance. If you need maximum corrosion resistance, then you should opt for austenitic stainless steel as they contain the highest amount chromium. So you should opt for 304 grade of stainless steel. Ferritic stainless steel, on the other hand, is a more cost-efficient option than austenitic stainless steel as they have less concentration of nickel and chromium.

  1. Heat Treatment

If the stainless steel is going through any heat treatment, you should be aware of how different grades might be affected by it. For austenitic and ferritic stainless steel are two non-hardenable grade of stainless steel when exposed to heat. Martensitic or precipitation hardened stainless steel is ideal for heat treatment.

  1. Strength Requirement

Martensitic stainless steel grade such as 440C or precipitation hardened stainless steel grade 15-5 PH 17-4 PH are the best options when it comes to acquiring maximum strength. Considering the high nickel content, austenitic stainless steel also offers high toughness and ductility.

The right grade of stainless steel depends on the purpose you need it for. Above are some of the best choices for the grade based on unique purposes, so next time you will be able to make the right decision.

Everything You Need to Know About Nickel Alloy

Nickel is a chemical element, which is represented by Ni symbol and an atomic number of 28. It is a silver-white lustrous metal featuring a tinge of gold hue. It comes under the transition metals and is extremely hard as well as ductile.

Nickel is a versatile metal and tends to alloy with a majority of metals. Nickel alloys are alloys wherein the nickel stand as the primary element. There is a complete solubility between nickel and copper.

Additionally, there is a wide range of solubility between chromium, iron, and nickel, allowing the formation of multiple alloy combinations. The high versatility of this material accompanied by its exceptional corrosion and heat resistance makes it an ideal material to use in many industrial applications.

Types of Nickel Alloy

Nickel can be easily alloyed with a majority of metals, including chromium, copper, molybdenum, iron, etc. Moreover, when nickel is added to other metal, the properties tend to alter. Below we are mentioning some common types of alloy –

  1. Nickel-Copper Alloys

Nickel-copper alloys are extremely resistant to corrosion by seawater and saltwater; thereby making with ideal for marine applications. This type of alloy has 63% nickel and 28-34% copper concentration.

  1. Nickel-Iron Alloys

Nickel-iron alloys are ideal for application where the thermal expansion in the property is at a low rate. It has a high degree of dimensional stability, making nickel-iron alloys quite useful in building applications such as thermostat rods, measurement equipment. Some nickel-iron alloys that hold a higher concentration of nickel are used in the manufacturing of transformers, memory storage device, inductors, etc.

  1. Nickel-Chromium Alloys

Nickel chromium-alloys are reckoned for their high resistance to corrosion, greater electrical resistance, and high-temperature strength. This type of alloy is used in making heating elements like toasters.

  1. Nickel-Molybdenum Alloys

Nickel-molybdenum alloys provide high chemical resistance to acids along with reducers such as hydrogen chloride, phosphoric acid, hydrochloric acid, and sulfuric acid. The chemical formation of this type of alloy has 29-30% concentration of molybdenum and 66-74% concentration of nickel. Common applications of nickel-molybdenum alloys include gaskets, pumps and valves, heat exchangers, pressure vessels, piping, and heat exchangers.

  1. Nickel-Chromium-Iron Alloys

Nickel-chromium-iron alloys amalgamate to generate alloys that oxidation resistance, as well as high-temperature corrosion. The alloy typically is used for their high rapture and creep properties. It has composition generally stands at Nickel 30-35%, chromium- 19-23%, and Iron 39.5%.

  1. Nickel-Titanium Alloys

Nickel-titanium alloys hold shape retention or shape memory properties. When shaped in higher temperatures and deformed in lower temperatures, this type of alloy remembers its original shape and reform to it once header. The whole process is known as transition temperature. You can alter the transition temperature by controlling the alloy composition. Nickel-titanium alloy features high-elastic property that can be leveraged to be used as a shock absorber and assist in protecting the stone buildings.

  1. Nickel-Chromium Alloys

This type of alloy encompasses molybdenum and chromium in order to add more creep rupture strength. It concentration include chromium 20-24%, molybdenum 8-10%, cobalt 10-15%, and nickel 44.5%. Some of the common applications associated with this alloy include gas turbines, furnace components, catalyst grid supports, etc.

Nickel alloy is a highly versatile element, which comes with features including high heat and corrosion resistance. This characteristic makes nickel alloy an effective Al6Xn Tubing in many structures that generated a lot of heat. It is used in a wide range of application such as steam turbines, aircraft gas turbines, energy and nuclear power industries, etc.

Why Do You Need To Think About Stainless Steel As Piping Material?

Summary: Stainless steel is a versatile and reliable piping material that industries have been using for years. Read on to discover more about this metal.

From construction to chemical, metal elements are being used in almost every industry today. Over the years, metals have made advancements and proven beneficial to the humankind. It is essential to understand that each metal holds a significant prominence with its unique properties. Many metal elements are currently being used in different industries. Among all the other metals, there is one material that is versatile and reliable, i.e., stainless steel.

Belonging to the iron-based alloy family, stainless steel contains 11% chromium that helps in preventing the rusting, making it stainless. Stainless steel also has high heat resistance that makes it an ideal material for industrial use. There are different grades for stainless steel that decides its durability and reliability. Stainless steel is highly used for piping purposes as its properties create a favourable situation to emerge as promising piping material. Specific types of stainless steel are denoted as a three-digit number, for instance, 416 stainless steel tube.

The Significance of Stainless Steel

For over the years, stainless steel has been used in the construction industry. It is viewed as a reliable, durable and more flexible alternative to iron. Due to its set of drawbacks, iron cannot be qualified as the ideal metal for industries that work in unfavourable conditions. That’s where stainless steel outshines the others. There are several advantages to choosing stainless steel over others. For instance, it can be used in pipe works, fire sprinklers, networks, etc. Stainless steel tubes and pipes have several industrial and residential applications as well. Over the years, the use of stainless steel has only increased for the better. The widespread of stainless steel started when people started realising its beneficial properties.

What Do You Get From Stainless Steel Pipes?

One of the significant advantages of stainless steel that makes it a popular choice among the industries is its durability. There’s no other metal element that can compete with stainless steel in terms of sustainability. High heat resistance and corrosion resistance are some of the other features of stainless steel that makes them so popular. Iron can quickly rust and corrode when it is exposed to some natural elements. Stainless steel, on the other hand, can withstand unfavourable conditions and can be exposed to water, or gas without any problem. That’s the reason industries choose stainless steel over the others.

Stainless steel can also tolerate heavy shocks and vibrations. That means it can be used for heavy-duty tasks as well. Whether it is underground construction or chemical reactivity, stainless steel pipes can be used in every possible heavy-duty task.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to piping material, stainless steel will always remain a choice of material for all the constructors. The range of properties and specifications it has cannot be compared with other metals. Furthermore, stainless steel is easily available and affordable, as well. You would not need to spend much to invest in this reliable and versatile material. It is essential to understand the benefits of stainless steel and then make its optimal use.

6 Reasons to Use Nickel Alloy 800h Tubing for Commercial Purposes

The world did not wake up to the value of Nickel just the other day. Since pre-civilization times, people used Nickel to make artifacts such as weapons and tools, and even coins. Even today, Nickel alloys have become a must-have, and the trend will not be slowing down any time in the future.

The beauty of Nickel is that it can alloy with just about a wide variety of metals such as copper, chromium, and iron, making its use very versatile

Nickel Alloys Used in a Variety of Applications

Nickel alloys are highly useful in a variety of heat and corrosion-resistant applications. These include medical and nuclear power applications, turbines for aircraft gas and steam power plants, and chemical and petroleum industries.

One of the most common Nickel alloys used for commercial purposes is the Nickel alloy 800h tubing.

Properties of the Nickel Alloy 800h Tubing

Nickel Alloy 800h is a combination of Nickel, iron, and Chromium, with the highest concentration being that of Nickel. It also contains very high carbon levels.

Alloy 800h tubing has found its uses in a variety of industries which use heavy-duty equipment such as chemical and oil refineries, plant heaters, pressure vessels, industrial furnaces, and hydrocarbon cracking.

Below are its top properties

  1. Optimum temperature features

While the previous alloy 800 was only used for temperatures up to 1100 degrees F, the 800h alloy can be used in higher temperatures higher than that. Even in extremely high temperatures, the Nickel alloy maintains its stable structure.

  1. Resistant to embrittlement

The high nickel composition makes it highly resistant to embrittlement. That means that it can be hammered or stretched without breaking. Alloy 800h is preferred to stainless steel because it can withstand temperatures as high 1600 degrees F without becoming embrittled.

  1. Resistant to carburization

Carburization is the hardening due to a high carbon infusion during heating. Alloy 800h has an excellent chemical composition to resist carburization.

  1. Corrosion resistance

Nickel 800h exhibits strong properties when it comes to oxidation, sulfiding, and nitriding resistance. Nickel alloys tend to be more resistant than steel.

  1. Ability to overcome stress rapture

The Alloy 800h is a slight modification from the previous Nickel Alloy 800. Different from alloy 800, alloy 800h has a higher carbon content and grain size which makes it a suitable metal in conditions likely to cause high-stress rapture.

  1. Easily weldable

Just like stainless steel, Nickel alloys are weldable with similar techniques used to weld steel. Even more, it is easily machinable and formable.

Final Words

Metals can fail at extremely high temperatures or in maximal environmental conditions of excess moisture or acidity. When you are especially working in a commercial environment, you need to use quality metals that can withstand environmental conditions without damaging their structure.

Nickel 800h alloy is such a metal which has found extensive applications in places where high heat and corrosion resistance is required. Whether you are in the aerospace, chemical and food processing, or even the oil and gas industries, Nickel alloy tubing has all the properties required for a highly functional and durable metal.

Common Mistakes Fabricators Make When Welding 718 Tubing

Nickel alloy 718 tubing is one of many alloys with great properties that can make it applicable in many environments where heat will be involved. It is commonly used in offshore oil mining because of its corrosion resistance. One challenge new fabricators have when dealing with it however is welding.

Welders who have not worked with stainless steel before can make a few mistakes when working with nickel alloy 718 tubing. We have compiled some of the common mistakes made.

Using the Wrong Tools

It may be a surprise to some metalworkers that what they consider the right tools when working with carbon steel are the wrong tools when it comes to stainless steel. The thing about stainless steel is that it can be contaminated when you use the same tools for carbon steel. Particles from the ordinary steel can be introduced to the tubing and when you finally apply it, you realize it begins corroding prematurely.

Applying too Much Heat

Yes, alloys can withstand high temperatures, but at the same time, they have different levels at which they begin to get deformed. Some welders may simply believe because they used a particular amount of heat on one metal, they can do the same for another. This is a big mistake to make when dealing with stainless steel and it can result in the steel getting deformed in the process. The worst result of applying too much heat is depletion of the chromium layer which is essential for corrosion resistance. If this happens the steel will eventually lose its most favorable quality.

Using the Wrong Filler Metal

Stainless steel has different grades and because of that, the filler metal used to weld one grade may not work on another. Some welders do not take the time to find out what grade they are working on and because of that, they use the wrong filler which ends up in a waste of material as well as a poorly done job. It is important to always establish what grade of stainless steel you are working on and what would be the best approach.

Using the Wrong Amount of Shielding Gas

This is a mistake that can go unnoticed as the steel fabrication leaves the workshop because it may look just fine. This deception is why this mistake is made over and over until the clients start complaining. The mixture of oxygen and carbon dioxide used when welding carbon steel is not appropriate for stainless steel. Too much of it and you will have a fabrication that will corrode in just a few weeks. It may not look like you have made a mistake but this is just as bad as using too much heat.

Protection

This is a general mistake when welding. Some welders may forget or ignore safety guidelines when welding and that can result in an accident.

Conclusion

Before you begin welding stainless steel, ensure that you know what grade you are working with and what is the best approach to working on it. Never try to apply the same procedure used for carbon steel to stainless steel. It takes a bit of adjustment to get used to working with stainless steel but with practice, you can become perfect.

How to Weld Nickel Alloy 800H Tubing?

Some of the great properties of nickel alloy 800H tubing that make it appropriate for certain uses can also make it hard to deal with. One of the problems you may encounter is welding. Because of its ability to withstand high temperatures, it may be hard to weld.

If care is not taken as you weld nickel alloy 800H tubing you may end up with a few defects which include crevices, surface oxides that result in corrosion, arc strikes, and removal of protective film on the metal among other problems, these can be prevented by using the right procedure.

Qualification and Training

Whoever is working as a welder for nickel alloys must have the right qualification and training. Each country may have its own certification standards that would qualify someone to work safely and effectively on this kind of metal.

Training will cover the different methods used to weld alloys as well as preparation for welding among other important information concerning welding and fabrication. At the end of the training, the individual will have to pass a test to qualify as a welder.

Methods Used to Weld Nickel Alloys

There are mainly 3 methods commonly used to weld nickel alloys, these are:

– Gas tungsten arc

– Shield metal arc

– Gas metal arc

Gas Tungsten Arc Welding

This is a commonly used procedure for welding nickel alloys. Agon gas or any inert gas is used to protect the metal from the air, meanwhile, the filler metal is added into the arc. This can be done automatically or manually. The thickness of the metal doesn’t matter in this process. The advantages of GTAW include:

– It is effective when welding pipes.

– Slug residue is minimized so clean up after welding is not much.

– It does not cause alloy loss.

– It is neat with minimal or no finishing needed.

Shield Metal Arc Welding

SMAW is appropriate when dealing with shapes that cannot be welded automatically. The entire process is manual as the welder constantly controls the arc. Because of the versatility when using this technique, there are many ways to perform it depending on the type of nickel alloy being used. Care needs to be taken when welding and it is best to have a helper as you do this.

Gas Metal Arc Welding

With this technique, an arc is created between the piece, bare wire electrode, and consumable. A gas shield is then used to protect from external air. Either helium or argon can be used and at times a combination of the 2 can work as well. Carbon dioxide can also be added for bead control. Advantages of this process are:

– Automation is easily achieved.

– Welding can be done faster.

– There is a proper transfer of elements between the arc.

– Produces no slug so there is no cleanup needed.

Conclusion

Because nickel alloys are used often in applications that require error-free performance, it is important that the people who execute the welding know exactly what they are doing. It is best not to try and fiddle with it on your own if you haven’t received the right training to carry out the task. At the same time, ensure that you have the right nickel alloy.

Properties of Nickel Alloy That Makes It Popular

There are plenty of metals across the earth’s surface that are bring used for different purposes. It is important to understand the benefits of each metal in order to optimally use them. Generally, these metals are used in industries to make machines and equipment. There are many strong metals as well that have some unique properties that make them ideal for industrial use.

Metal alloys are also used for different purposes. These are made with a combination of two or more metals. Nickel alloy is one such popular alloy that has varied applications. They are ideally used for tubing purposes. For instance, nickel alloy 718 tubing is considered as one of the purest and most potent forms of alloy for tubing.

Properties of Nickel Alloy That Makes Them Purposeful

Nickel has always remained a crucial material for a wide range of industries. It is one of the versatile alloy material that has been ever created. There are plenty of reasons why nickel alloy is so popular. Take a look at some of the amazing properties of a nickel alloy.

High Resistance

One of the significant properties of nickel alloy that makes it potent enough for heavy-duty work is its high resistance to pressure and temperature. Nickel alloy can withstand extreme pressure and temperature. Hence, they are primarily used in high performance manufactures like jet engine blades. It is also resistant to corrosion, so it is used in deep-sea mining as well.

Strength and Toughness

Nickel alloy is a versatile metal that is also popular for its high strength and durability. As it can withstand extreme pressure and temperature, nickel alloy becomes a stronger metal that can be used for heavy-duty works as well. The pure nickel is tough enough to work as a base for other alloys. The toughness and strength of nickel alloy make them an ideal metal for industrial piping and tubing.

Ideal For Harsh Environment

There are plenty of metals that cannot tolerate the harsh environment and perish in time. Nickel alloy, on the other hand, can work efficiently, even in the harshest environment. It has RA 330 known as the austenitic alloy, which makes nickel alloy even more powerful and durable.

Non-Perishable

The reason nickel alloy is used in industries is due to its highly durable and non-perishable, unlike other alloys. In industrial work, time is money. Instead of wasting your time constantly changing the metal parts, bringing nickel alloy is a smarter choice. It is important to find a reliable dealer to get a hands-on quality nickel alloy.

The Bottom Line

Metals have made human lives easier in a lot of ways. Alloys, in particular, have a wide range of applications. Nickel alloy is one of the popular alloys that have some distinctive properties making it purposeful. From aircraft manufacturing to tubing purposes, nickel alloy has several applications. The above mentioned were some of the ideal properties of nickel alloy that you must know.