Stainless Steel: Incomparable Durability
In the long run, stainless steel is an economical choice. Seemingly more expensive at the outset; however, its longevity makes it an excellent buy.
The Benefits of Stainless Steel:
Environmental: stainless steel is 100% recyclable.
Aesthetic: it features an attractive, bright appearance.
Temperature: from high to subzero, stainless steel maintains its properties, strength, and effectiveness.
Safe: Stainless steel is not hazardous to health.
Hygienic: it's easy to clean and sterilize.
Economic: requires less maintenance and replacement.
And doesn't need a potentially polluting surface coating.
What is it made of?
- and in some cases nickel and molybdenum.
Chromium is key in bonding with these to create a protective surface film. 10.5% chromium is required to be considered stainless steel. The surface barrier created blocks water and oxygen from getting underneath, which in turn facilitates the protection of its iron foundation and enables its notable stain resistance. A few atomic layers of this barrier is enough to maintain the whole--we're talkin' a wavelength of light in thickness--so really thin and visually undetectable without significant magnification.
Commonly, there are two main classifications.
Type 304--most common, with great corrosion resistance; affordable, appropriate to household appliances and forms well. 304 has more chromium than 316.
Type 316--the presence of molybdenum increases anti-corrosion capacity and high heat stability. This takes things up a notch and is crucial for marine environments, refineries, and medical devices. It is used in situations where extreme hardness is required. Fence or mesh used in a coastal or saltwater environment requires 316, also in areas of air pollution, deicing salt, and volcanic activity. 316 also contains more nickel than 304.
- The difference between 304 and 316 is not detectable with the naked eye.
- A material test report is something to look for when buying and questioning the grade of stainless steel.
Stainless and Fencing
When thinking about a fence, the main reason to go stainless is for long life. It repels corrosion and the toughness of stainless steel offsets the initial cost promising less repair and replacement. Unsightly rust is eliminated or delayed. Its properties are indispensable in keeping a business or residence looking sharp and its longevity doesn't waste resources.