The Basics of Stainless Steel Fabrication
Stainless-steel is one of the single most popular and versatile building materials in the world. Despite being high-strength in finished form, stainless steel is surprisingly easy to work with in both hot and cold environments. This makes stainless steel fabrication a go-to solution for a wide range of industries in need of affordable and reliable hardware.
In this blog, we want to briefly touch on the basics of stainless steel fabrication, and some of the ways it can be worked with to achieve different end goals.
Working with Stainless Steel
Stainless steel can come in a variety of ‘raw’ forms, including sheets, bars, and rods. From there, it can be bent, cut, folded, pounded, melted, welded, or even spun. There are also a wide variety of stainless steel formulations, with different proportions of constituent materials, which affect its overall properties. That stainless-steel can be worked with in many ways is just part of its overall appeal and popularity.
Cutting stainless steel can be achieved through several different methods, including:
- Mechanical sawing: Nearly all stainless-steel grades can be cut mechanically with toothed saws, or even occasionally with handsaws. However, this will tend to leave rough edges which will need to be finished afterward.
- Water jet cutting: Water jets can be 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, however, they tend to contaminate the edge being worked on and are rarely utilized.
Machining Stainless Steel
One interesting property of stainless steel is that it tends to become harder the more it is worked with. This can be either beneficial or a problem, since the harder the steel becomes, the more brittle it tends to become. In some cases, this hardening can also affect its magnetic properties.
When machining stainless steel, temperature control is vital. Heat buildup will quickly strengthen the steel, making it harder to work with. Systems must have plenty of coolants and\or lubricants at work, and well-maintained machinery which can make cuts without extra vibration.
Welding is another option, although only some grades of stainless steel can handle welding without becoming too brittle.
Anderson Dahlen Offers High-Quality Steel Fabrication
We have the tools and experience for any stainless-steel project, large or small. Included within the company’s equipment selection are systems for welding, such as TIG welders and MIG welders, as well as equipment for machining work, such as our CNC vertical mill and our CNC vertical turning lathe. Our team continually invests in the highest quality equipment to ensure refined precision in our steel fabrication work. Contact us for a consultation.