Securing strength and safety with stainless steel components

2 min read

The low-maintenance nature and attractive appearance of stainless steel, along with its unique properties make it a strong choice for use in multiple engineering applications. Marcus Schneck, CEO of norelem, explains the benefits of stainless steel and looks at different applications where stainless steel components can be applied.

Strength, corrosion resistance and hygienic properties are all desirable qualities when it comes to choosing standard components. When engineers face the effects of corrosion it can cause delays, unsafe working environments and maintenance costs further down the line.

According to the European Standard EN 10088 (BSI 1995) stainless steel is a low-carbon steel that has at least 10% chromium and a minimum of 1.2% of carbon by weight. Increased chromium content, as well as the addition of other elements such as molybdenum, nickel and nitrogen, improves the steel's corrosion resistance and other useful properties such as standard components.

It is predicted that the global stainless steel market will reach $163.5 million by 2027. The shear strength of stainless steel is one of the main reasons for its popularity. Stainless steel is also a common choice for many because of its aesthetic appeal; a variety of surface treatments are available. It also has a long lifecycle and is recyclable.

However, not all stainless steel is the same, there are big differences between each grade.

Stainless steel comes in approximately 150 grades, with 15 of them being regularly used in everyday applications. Available in a variety of shapes and sizes, stainless steel is commonly used for industrial and residential applications, including plates, coils, bars, sheets, and tubes. It’s also used in a variety of industries, including construction, automotive, and more. It is simply the most effective and efficient choice for many applications.

Compared to carbon steels and aluminum, stainless steel is more difficult to process and more expensive to buy, however, the numerous benefits mentioned earlier will more often than not, outweigh the higher cost.

In any case, careful consideration of forming and joining methods is required for the most optimal design to be produced.

In recent years and months, the material trends in the healthcare industry have been moving more and more towards stainless steel, but special products for hygienic applications are also increasingly in demand.

Easy to clean, stainless steel makes it the preferred choice for hygienic environments such as hospitals, restaurants, and public kitchens.

Due to certain performance characteristics, norelem uses 1.4301 (AISI 304, V2A) or 1.4305 (AISI 303) grade stainless steel for a large number of its standard components.

For applications with very high demands, norelem also has stainless steel products made of 1.4404 (AISI 316L, V4A, A4L) in its range. The 1.4404 stainless steel products are specifically targeted at the food, pharmaceutical, chemical and packaging industries due to its hygienic properties. It is also highly corrosion-resistant.

norelem provides various stainless steel components such as bolts, nuts and washers, spring plungers, indexing plungers and handles, to tube connectors, adjustable feet and even linear units.

For example, workpieces are typically clamped with spring plungers and can be used as a positioning aid, a locking mechanism, or a clamping mechanism. For applications in which the spring plungers have to withstand heavy demands, for example, in outdoor use or in medical technology, there are multiple norelem spring plungers available that are made of corrosion-resistant materials, such as stainless steel.