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The main factor in the selection process for stainless steels is corrosion resistance. Careful consideration of the application should be done to enable a choice of grade with suitable corrosion resistance whilst keeping costs to an economic minimum. Other considerations such as mechanical properties, (strength and toughness), physical properties, (magnetic permeability), and forming, fabrication and joining methods available should be secondary. (91)
Stainless steel is a great material to work with. As with all materials you need to know how to treat it correctly for maximum cost effectiveness. This article summarises the typical pitfalls and remedies.
Appropriate grade selection is a balance between attaining adequate corrosion resistance, whilst minimising cost. Useful aids to material selection include the Outokumpu Stainless Corrosion Handbook and the Nickel Institute’s Crevice Corrosion Engineering Guide.
Hardness testing methods, including Brinell, Vickers and Rockwell are outlined. The hardness scales, including HB, HV, HRB and HRC are shown for each method and a comparison table of hardness values between these scales presented.
A colour chart is shown for guidance on exposure temperatures on 1.4301, (304) type. The factors affecting the degree or depth of colours formed are outlined. These include steel composition, atmosphere, time and surface finish.
Heat treatment, (tempering), of austenitic strip and wire grades for enhanced mechanical properties is referenced in BS EN 10151, (strip) and BS EN 10270-3, (wire).
Corrosion risks and selection of stainless steel grades for short-term service in molten aluminium, copper, lead, tin and zinc are discussed.
Stainless steels are widely used for their good oxidation resistance at elevated temperatures. Although other forms of attack, such as sulphidation and carburisation need to be considered in certain applications, oxidation is of primary importance. Oxidation resistance is dependent, primarily, on the chromium content of the steel. The strength of the steel at the intended service temperature is also important when selecting stainless steels for high temperature service.
The NACE MR0175 standard for sulfide, (sulphide), stress corrosion cracking resistant metallic materials for oilfield equipment is now also available as an ISO standard 15156. This article summarises the requirements for all types of stainless steel austenitic , ferritic, duplex, martensitic and precipitation hardening stainless steels which are covered by the standard. Mill softened material will normally be found to comply with the requirements.
Paper originally delivered at the BSSA Conference ‘Stainless Solutions for a Sustainable Future’ held in Rotherham on 3rd April 2003. This power point presentation suggests why businesses should be looking towards tidal and solar power and how stainless steel can be used in Renewable Energy. It describes the effectiveness of the applications, the benefits and costs of using renewable energy resources and comments on the future of renew ability and the commercial potential.
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