There are three main types of steel that makes up a steel fastener. These are: stainless steel, carbon steel, and alloy steel. Each type of steel has its own purpose, but today’s focus will be on the stainless steel fastener. Stainless Steel Fastener manufacturers have been in the industry for a very long duration. This type of fastener has a lot of applications and are well known due to its durability and effectiveness.
Stainless Steel Fasteners are environmentally friendly as they can be recycled 100%, are corrosion resistant allowing them to survive in almost all conditions, are stable under temperature extremes, and versatile as there can be many types and grades of stainless steel. For example, you can have 316 stainless steel fasteners, 314 stainless steel fasteners, and 18-8 stainless steel fasteners. However, despite the common use of stainless steel fasteners, there are a few facts that are not well known by 316 stainless steel fasteners.
First off, many people do not know that stainless steel surfaces can restore itself. This process is called passivation and it occurs when a scratch is made on the steel. Oxygen engages with the chromium to create this layer of protective material from further corrosion or damage. Oxide forms and automatically covers the exposed steel when the passive film is disrupted if it is not too deep. If the scratch does end up too deep, the material can be manually passivated.
Secondly, many people hear about stainless steel being corrosion-resistant, but forget that corrosion-resistant does not mean corrosion-proof. As mentioned in the previous fact, the stainless steel fastener’s ability to heal itself relies on oxygen. When oxygen is limited, the protective film is compromised and corrosion will occur. Also, if debris from other steel material ends up on stainless steel fasteners, the debris will rust and tarnish the stainless steel.
Lastly, many people understand stainless steel to be non-magnetic. However, there are slight grades of magnetism that results from the manufacturing procedure. Many stainless steels are magnetic to a certain extent, and only the 304, 316, and 316L stainless steel fasteners are mostly non-magnetic. Though stainless steels are used worldwide in everyday applications, these facts aren’t commonly known and can make you seem like a stainless steel fastener expert!