The Basics of Stainless Steel Fabrication

Stainless steel is one of the most popular and versatile building materials. Despite being strong in finished form, stainless steel is surprisingly easy to work with in both hot and cold environments. With multiple benefits, stainless steel is a go-to solution for a wide range of industries in need of an affordable, sanitary, and reliable building material.

Working with Stainless Steel
Stainless steel comes in several ‘raw’ forms, including sheets, bars, and rods. From there, it is bent, cut, folded, pounded, melted, welded, or spun. There are also a wide variety of stainless steel formulations, with different proportions of constituent materials, which affect its overall properties. Since stainless steel is versatile in the ways it is worked with, it is a popular building material for projects.

Cutting stainless steel can be achieved through several different methods:

  • Mechanical Sawing – Nearly all stainless steel grades can be cut mechanically with toothed saws or even occasionally with handsaws. However, this may leave rough edges which will need to be finished afterwards.
  • Water Jet Cutting – Water jets are extremely effective in cutting stainless steel, particularly when a smooth cut is desired on the first try.
  • Thermal Cutting – Thermal cutters, like plasma torches, are another option, although they tend to contaminate the edge being worked on and are rarely utilized.

Machining Stainless Steel
Stainless steel tends to become harder the more it is worked with. This can be beneficial or a problem, since the harder the steel becomes, the more brittle it becomes. In some cases, this hardening also affects its magnetic properties.

When machining stainless steel, temperature control is vital. Heat buildup quickly strengthens the steel, making it harder to work with. Systems must have plenty of coolants and/or lubricants at work, and well-maintained machinery to make cuts without extra vibration.

Welding is another option, although only some grades of stainless steel handle welding without becoming too brittle.

Anderson Dahlen’s Stainless Steel Fabrication Capabilities
Anderson Dahlen continually invests in the highest quality equipment to ensure refined precision in our stainless steel fabrication work. Our team consists of TIG and MIG welders, and our equipment includes a CNC vertical mill and a CNC vertical turning lathe.