Last Updated: 14/9/20 at 8:17am
Author: Jamie Hunt
Stainless steel offers many benefits over other metals and alloys, including:
The thing that makes stainless perfect for use in the home is the fact that it is rust resistant. This is why the taps in your bathroom and kitchen are made out of stainless, as they are exposed to moisture and water. You don’t have to worry about the fittings being affected by rust, although if it is in a corrosive environment such as outdoors it should still be washed and maintained.
For coastal applications and in salt water a Duplex grade such as 2507 would be appropriate, but as long as you choose the right grade for your application, stainless steel is an ideal choice.
Stainless Steel is 100% recyclable and most fasteners and fittings come from wire or molten pours that include a large percentage of recycled material.
Stainless is an iron alloy that has at least 10.5% Chromium content. This Chromium reacts with Oxygen to great a Chromium Oxide passive film. This microscopic passive film prevents the Iron in the steel from rusting, hence making it stain-less and it does so with no toxic coatings or additives. This is why stainless is the hygienic choice and the metal used with in food and medical environments.
The production process is cleaner than for most other metal and fastener types. With no toxic coatings or additives the impact on the environment is limited mostly to just the energy used to power the machines making the wire and punching out the fasteners.
There are many different grades of stainless, each with its pros and cons and suited to different applications and environments. Grade 304 is an excellent multi-purpose grade while grade 316 is more suited to coastal and more corrosive environments. Grade 2507 Super Duplex is needed for highly aggressive environments such as being submerged in salt water. Also see the Stainless Steel Guide.
Another advantage that comes with stainless fittings is the fact that they are very durable. In most cases, they will last decades. Their long lasting nature often makes the overall life-cycle cost less than cheaper Carbon Steel equivalents, which have to be repaired and replaced far more often.
There are some types of fittings available that can be damaged if they are exposed to high temperatures. Again, this is not the case with stainless as it is not affected by high levels of heat.
If you take a look around your home right now you will see that your home is full of fixtures that are made out of it. Not only is this is a highly durable material that is rust and stain resistant, but it is also highly affordable.
Over the last 50 years a huge amount of development has happened to enable stainless fasteners to be made extremely strong, including fasteners made to a strength of an incredibly high 1200 MPa in Tensile Strength.
Jamie Hunt is the CEO of Anzor Fasteners LLP, with 23 years in procurement and supply of Stainless Steel Fasteners and Hardware under his belt. He also has Olympic yachting experience and is a Certified ISSF Stainless Specialist.
Jamie is a member of the Australian Stainless Steel Development Association and has written many articles including "The Stainless Steel Guide", "Can you paint stainless steel?" and "Are stainless fasteners OK with treated timber?". Check out Jamie on his LinkedIn profile for more information.
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