Stainless steel profiles are widely used in different industries, as it is known to be the perfect material for almost any application. But what is it, that makes stainless steel perfect?
Stainless Steel – A Material Makes History
Stainless is a form of steel that has been used in the building and arts industries primarily since the 1960s. In recent years stainless steel profiles have gained in popularity as a desirable alternative to common ferrous metals, especially for use in construction. This is in part due to the beauty of the material that lends itself well to exposed structural elements.
Today, there is a variety of structural stainless steel profiles. This is especially in special shapes, finishes, and precision manufacturing processes that make stainless steel profiles more versatile. The demand for stainless steel has also allowed for more competitive pricing and shipping options comparable to the more common carbon steel products.
Benefits of Stainless Steel Profiles over Carbon Steel
Stainless steel is exactly what the name implies. It is steel that does not stain or succumb to corrosion. The chromium in stainless forms an oxide film at the surface level that protects the steel and allows it to self-repair when exposed to the elements, including pollutants. It is rust resistant, which makes stainless steel profiles more visually appealing than profiles in conventional carbon grade steels.
Another benefit of using stainless steel profiles is their strength. Steel can span long distances without significant deformation or visible stress. It basically has a higher weight-to-strength ratio than other building materials. There are high grade stainless steel special shapes that allow for less material thickness than some of the more common steel grades. This allows for the overall use of less material in the manufacturing process.
Stainless steel profiles are a hundred percent recyclable. This makes stainless steel one of the most environmentally friendly materials to use in construction and design.
Stainless Steel Grades
There are different grades of stainless steel that incorporate different alloys, production methods, finishes, and strengths. Some of these include the following types.
Austenitic stainless steel grades are quite common. These are not normally magnetic and commonly contain alloys of iron, chromium, nickel, and manganese. These materials can be cold worked and are very corrosion resistant.
Martensitic grades are corrosion resistant stainless steel alloys that we can harden using heat. These steels do not contain nickel and have higher carbon levels and their elements are considered magnetic. Hence, they are ideal for projects requiring hardness and strength.
Ferritic stainless steel grades were developed to provide a group that resists oxidation and stress corrosion cracking, while being lighter in weight. These contain chromium and lower carbon content. Ferritic stainless steel is magnetic. These products are mostly used for interior finishes, automotive parts, and for submersion in sea water when molybdenum is added.
Duplex stainless steel grades are newer to the steel market. The material is a combination of austenitic and ferritic stainless steel material. It possesses higher strength and superior resistance to stress corrosion cracking.
Production Methods of Stainless Steel Profiles
There are several production methods and finishes available to meet the demands of individual projects. We produce special shapes and stainless steel profiles using standard hot and cold rolling. We also offer state-of-the-art technologies, such as laser fusion and hybrid profile construction.
Our hot rolled stainless steel profiles and alloy shapes are produced by forming wire rod in a continuous rolling process at a temperature of about 2012 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot rolling is the most economical technology to produce steel sections. These sections are suitable for general building and construction. We are able to produce common shapes, such as flat bars, stainless steel beams, columns, and stainless steel channels at considerable cost savings to our customers.
Cold rolled stainless steel profiles are produced by forming round wire rod by a continuous rolling process at an ambient temperature. That method is an efficient manufacturing process for smaller shapes and sections. Cold rolled profiles offer some advantages, including excellent surface finish and tight tolerances. Hence, cold rolling produces hard, strong, and ductile stainless steel profiles.
Laser fusion is extremely efficient and our most popular method. It offers nearly limitless capabilities and design options. The method welds individual components together to make complete fused profiles, such as stainless steel beams, channels, hollow shapes, and custom sections. Our lasers cut with minute precision. Welds are monolithic and not noticeable. Edges are sharp and lines are clean. Finishes on laser fused profiles are typically better than with other production methods.
Finishes of Stainless Steel Profiles
Bead Blasted and Pickled is the standard finish for stainless steel profiles from Stainless Structurals America. We create it by micro bead blasting and pickling laser fused profiles. Hence, this finish is a uniform matte surface with low reflectivity.
Mirror finish is the most reflective polished finish. It literally takes on the look of a reflective surface. This is a custom finish.
Brushed stainless steel profiles have a directional pattern with a satin sheen to it. So it is a distinctive look that retains some of its metallic luster and exhibits very fine parallel, brushed lines. This is also a custom finish.
Our stainless steel profiles come in a variety finishes.
Stainless Steel Profiles in Different Industries
The use of stainless steel spans the gamut of industries. For example, it is used as a building material, notably in Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) applications. It is also used in interior design, landscapes, commercial and home products, and for art installations.
Stainless Steel Profiles in Construction
The strength, durability, and handsomeness of stainless steel profiles make them an ideal product for buildings that are structurally expressive. Many architects and engineers are opting for exposed structural elements and expansive curtain wall systems that make bold statements and allow for open floor plans and more natural daylight.
Unique Characteristics make Stainless Steel Profiles a Perfect Choice
The corrosion resistance and hygienic nature of this material makes it a perfect choice for health care facilities and surgical centers, medical laboratories and manufacturing plants, school kitchens and cafeterias, and institutional bathing facilities. Stainless steel profiles are also a great material for industrial projects, such as off-shore oil rigs.
Landscape designers are embracing stainless steel for railing systems, guardrails, light bollards, entrance canopies, stair tread nosings, and outdoor furniture. The material does not succumb to rust.
Furthermore, interior designers find stainless steel to be ideal for surface finishes, floating stairs, shelving, and display systems.
Stainless Structurals has the Perfect Solutions for Your Project
At Stainless Structurals we are able to make stainless steel profiles in common and special shapes for almost any application. The benefits of using stainless steel far outweigh carbon steel for life span and life cycle costs. Please visit our website and contact us today for more information about our capabilities and our worldwide services.