Stainless Steel: Ordering Materials for Your Fabrication Work

Posted on: 31 May 2018

Choosing the materials for your stainless steel fabrication work is critical for the success of your project. In general, the choice of material will determine the cost of the manufacturing work. Different types of stainless steel will have differing purchase prices and fabrication costs. Also, it is important to choose a material which matches the future applications of the fabricated products. Additionally, you must obtain steel in a form that is easy to form into your desired final product. Here are practical tips to help you order the best stainless steel for your needs.

Choose a Specific Alloy

Stainless steel is a broad category of metals in the industrial market. Therefore, you should not make a generic order because it might delay the purchase and delivery of your materials. It is important to check out the market and determine the properties of the different grades of stainless steel before selection. The common options include standard, marine, precipitation hardening, austenitic and martensitic stainless steel. When choosing your grade, you should compare important properties such as formability, corrosion resistance and load-bearing capacity.

Determine Shape or Form

You should determine the shape or form in which you would like your stainless steel materials delivered. In simple terms, raw steel is formed into different shapes for ease of manufacturing and transportation. It is essential to select the most convenient option for your needs. Otherwise, you will need to spend more money on processing unsuitable materials. The most common forms of the material are plates or bars. You can choose different shapes, including square, rectangle and round. Sheet metal is also a popular choice, particularly for architectural and engineering projects. You can also order tubes, tiles, pipes and perforated sheets for specialty work. When making your order, you should remember to specify the size and dimensions of your chosen material.

Select Temper or Hardness

You should select the temper and hardness of the required stainless steel for your applications. The hardness of the material is a measure which is used to show the strength of the metal. However, you should not order the hardest available material. Harder products are difficult to form into desired shapes. Therefore, you should find a balance between hardness and ease of manufacturing. The temper should also be specified in the order description. You can use direct terms such as full hard or annealed, or you can describe specific properties such as tensile strength, elongation and yields strength.  

If you are uncertain about the best material, you should consult your stainless steel manufacturer.