Since its development more than a hundred years ago, stainless steel has become one of the most common and durable materials in the world and is now indispensable in a wide range of industries. This includes a number of applications exclusively for stainless steel pipe fittings, which benefit from the many desirable properties of the metal.
Although steel had been around for centuries it was vulnerable to corrosion and had other disadvantages that led scientists to find alternative alloys that could work better under harsh conditions. It was then understood that the iron-chromium mixture gave outstanding resistance to rust.
What Are Stainless Steel Alloys Made Of?
By definition stainless steel is an iron alloy containing at least 10.5 percent of chromium. There is an immense variation in the types of alloys available on the market, each of which varies in its exact chemical composition. Alloying elements such as nickel, molybdenum, carbon, nitrogen, titanium, and copper can improve the durability, formability and other characteristics of stainless steel.
In order to qualify as stainless steel, it must comply with the requirements for resistance to corrosion in a given environment. This resistance emerges from the outer layer of metal chromium oxide. This microscopic surface film is known as a passivation layer because it naturally interacts with oxygen present in the surrounding air and prevents subsequent corrosion. In addition, the layer can be repaired on its own if it experiences any damage, such as scratches or nicks.
What Are The Beneficial Properties Of Stainless Steel?
Obviously, the main characteristic of stainless steel is its resistance to corrosion. Different alloys offer different resistance levels. For example, 304 stainless steel, probably the most popular stainless steel alloy in the world, provides an all-round excellent level of corrosion resistance. Nevertheless, when it comes to the marine environment, 304 is not well suited as it is especially susceptible to chloride exposure, which is definitely present in seawater. Instead, an application that will be in marine environments should probably turn to Stainless Steel 316 Pipe Fittings, which has the added benefit of 2 percent molybdenum.
Stainless steel provides a variety of other advantages. Compared to regular steel, stainless steel alloys offer improved cryogenic strength, increased work toughness, increased strength and durability, increased ductility, more appealing appearance, and lower maintenance costs. With all that going on, it’s no wonder that stainless steel is so common in a wide range of industries, including pipe fittings.
Since each alloy behaves differently, it is important to be able to differentiate between them. Stainless steel alloys are classified into five different families, each distinguished by its own specific features. The five families are austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, duplex, and precipitation hardening.
What Are Stainless Steel Applications For Pipe Fitting?
The advantages of corrosion-resistant metal when it comes to pipe fittings ought to be clear. This is why stainless steel is a popular choice for pipe fitting applications. Pipe fittings come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes.
SS 304 Pipe Fittings is among the most commonly used for pipe fittings. This is because of its all-around corrosion resistance and other benefits. 304 also offers strong chemical resistance, an added bonus for materials exposed to high amounts of water, especially in industrial settings.
One particular application for pipe fitting is stainless steel pressure pipe fitting. Stainless steel 316 pipe fittings is made of solid chromium or, preferably, a combination of chromium and nickel. Appropriate alloys for this form of pipe fitting typically originate in ferritic and austenitic families. This type of pipe fitting may be beneficial for corrosive or high-temperature applications as well as for high-pressure environments.
Another common use for stainless steel pipe fittings is in sanitary tubing. For e.g. sanitation is a key factor in the food and beverage and medical device industries. In addition to its corrosion resistance, stainless steel is valued because it is easy to clean and does not tarnish. The ASTMA270 alloy is a popular choice for sanitary pipe fittings.
Many uses for stainless steel pipe fittings are used in high-performance industries such as aerospace and engineering Alloys based on chromium and nickel offer a high degree of heat resistance, an important factor for aircraft.
Our stainless steel pipe fittings are widely used in construction projects. Thanks to its ductility, it can be easily installed without needing any heat treatment. The total lifetime for steel pipe fittings in plumbing is also estimated to be close to fifty years.