Stainless steel sheet is any steel product that is less than a quarter of an inch thick. It is created by passing stainless steel through rollers until it reaches the desired dimensions and thickness.
Stainless steel sheet is frequently used for decorative purposes, as the polished finish of the metal makes it attractive to look at. The chemical composition of stainless steel also makes it easy to clean. The fact that stainless steel is resistant to corrosion means that it can be used for buildings and in other architectural uses, even where corrosion and damage may be a problem.
However, stainless steel is just as suited to industrial tasks where a thin metal is called for. Stainless steel alloys have some of the highest tensile strengths on the market and is extremely durable. The resistance of stainless steel to corrosion means that it can be used in caustic or corrosive environments that would degrade other metals. Stainless steel sheet can be found in manufacturing equipment, vehicle parts, storage tanks, medical equipment, and kitchen appliances.
Different steel alloys give each material specific strengths and weaknesses. Some brands of stainless steel are resistant to high temperatures, while other alloys are best suited for cryogenic applications. Consider the different alloys that Clinton Aluminum has and choose the best one for the job.
304 stainless steel is the most popular and common stainless steel alloy on the market. It has high tensile strength, durability, and corrosion resistance. One of the most common uses of 304 is in food processing, as the alloy is resistant to corrosive materials found in meat, fruit, and vegetables. 304 sheet is used to create cabinets, housings, storage tanks, medical equipment, and food processing equipment.
304L stainless steel has lower-than-normal amounts of carbon, which prevents carbide precipitation and allows it to be welded in any state, even when the conditions would corrode the material. It is appropriate to use 304L in many of the same settings as 304, though the fact that it can be welded more easily allows it to be used in situations where the sheet will need to be rpaired. Additionally, the mechanical properties are slightly lower than 304.
316 stainless steel is the second most commonly-used alloy after 304 and a popular choice for numerous different industries. It is among the corrosion-resistant alloys available today, and it is suited for marine applications. It is commonly used in food processing, chemical storage, oil refining equipment and in medical equipment.
316L contains unusually low amounts of carbon and thus does not produce carbide precipitation during welding. The low carbon content also makes 316L slightly easier to machine. This makes it an ideal choice for heavy gauge materials. It is commonly used in food preparation equipment and for marine vehicles. It is very suitable for weldments where the welding will not compromise the integrity of the sheet material.