Strong, resistant, with great tolerance to pressure and extreme temperatures, stainless steel is the main metal used for industrial processes. And there is even more, the alloy that makes up stainless steel makes it resistant to corrosion, it is a material that can be cleaned and its malleability allows the creation of devices such as industrial valves in a large number of sizes and shapes. But what makes it so special? Let’s look at its composition first.
What is stainless steel?
Stainless steel is a group of iron-based alloys that contain a minimum of chromium (approximately 11%), a composition that prevents iron from rusting and also provides heat-resistant properties.
The resistance of stainless steel to oxidation results from the presence of chromium in the alloy, which forms a passive film that protects the underlying material from corrosion attack and can regenerate in the presence of oxygen.
Corrosion resistance will increase if the chromium content is increased to levels above 11%; and with the addition of 8% or more nickel; and the addition of molybdenum (which also improves resistance to “pitting corrosion”).
But not all stainless steel is made equal! There are thousands of grades of stainless steel, the most common being 304 and 316. Those numbers represent the chemical composition of the material, which is at least 50% iron and 13% chromium.
Why is stainless steel so amazing?
The popularity of stainless steel is no mere coincidence, compared to its siblings, stainless steel is stronger than cast iron, ductile iron, brass, and copper.
Although it competes with carbon steel in many respects, stainless steel is far superior in corrosion resistance. For this reason, we find stainless steel valves in areas where materials with remarkable resistance to pressure, high temperature and corrosion are required.
Despite being practically unbeatable by other metals, stainless steel has one point against it: its price. It is clear that there is a large price difference between iron and stainless steel, but that translates into an improvement in quality and properties that are usually required by certain applications and that, in addition, over time, stainless steel valves will pay for themselves. that investment of extra cost thanks to its greater resistance to wear that this magnificent material confers on them.
In conclusion, stainless steel valves have characteristics that make them a favorite for most applications. Next, we invite you to discover our range of valves and industrial instrumentation in stainless steel.