Selecting the appropriate metals for construction and industrial manufacturing projects requires careful consideration, with thickness being an especially key aspect of metal selection.
Thickness determines whether metal is classified as foil, sheet or plate; with steel plate being the thickest metal designation and often corrugated or textured for increased strength without increasing its weight.
Stainless Steel 304
304 stainless steel is one of the most widely-used types available. With excellent corrosion resistance in a variety of environments and simple sanitation processes, it makes an ideal material choice. Furthermore, its strength and ductility remain at higher temperatures, making 304 ideal for many different applications and not magnetic or weldable – two key considerations when selecting any metal grade for fabrication or application purposes.
This austenitic stainless steel alloy contains 18% chromium and 10% nickel. This combination makes for exceptional resistance to corrosion in harsh, abrasive environments as well as exceptional welding characteristics and formability, making this alloy suitable for food processing equipment, architectural paneling/trim, automotive parts and fabrication projects.
Alloy 304 can be used in acidic or caustic environments, and is often combined with other materials to enhance its performance. Carbon steel is often paired with it for elevated temperature applications; Alloy 304 can also be found in brewery and dairy equipment such as kettles, evaporators, tanks, barrels, storage/hauling containers as well as hospitals/refrigeration equipment/other commercial use applications.
Finding the appropriate metal alloy is integral to any project, and All Foils has long assisted its customers in selecting suitable grades of metal for use in their endeavors. Our team of knowledgeable engineers are always happy to discuss specific project needs with their customers.
Grade 316 stainless steel is more resistant to chlorides than grade 304 and thus may be better suited for environments that may contain salt or other powerful corrosives, while grade 304 will suffice in most other cases.
When purchasing stainless steel sheet, you have the ability to choose which way the grain of its brushed finish runs for an additional 10% cost. Simply enter your product dimensions into our cost calculator and indicate whether you would prefer horizontal or vertical grain runs before clicking “yes” in the grain preference box on fabrication options page – we’ll take care of everything else!
Stainless Steel 321
321 stainless steel offers exceptional strength, corrosion resistance and non-magnetic qualities that make it the go-to metal choice. Used across industries including petrochemical processing, aerospace & aviation, chemical processing and natural gas processing; its mechanical properties such as formability and weldability outshone those of similar alloys while it could withstand temperatures as high as 1500 degF.
Stainless Steel 321 is a titanium stabilized chromium-nickel austenitic stainless alloy designed to withstand elevated temperature environments without becoming sensitized or vulnerable to weld decay (intergranular corrosion). As such, it makes this alloy suitable for applications involving chloride compounds in environments like food processing plants or medical facilities where chlorides cannot be avoided; environments where resistance to chloride-induced pitting is desired as is frequently the case with foods such as chicken.
Like other titanium stabilized grades, 321 titanium offers excellent weldability in all standard fusion welding processes – including both arc and resistance welding – without needing postweld annealing. Furthermore, cold working without loss of tensile properties is possible without degrading its properties. Furthermore, 321 cannot be hardened through heat treatment but instead can easily be formed using most forming tools.
Not only is stainless steel an exceptional corrosion and oxidation resistance material in both aqueous and non-aqueous environments, it has good intermittent service resistance up to 900 degF oxidation resistance as well. Nitric acid resistance is moderate while sulfur acids do not pose too much of a problem for this material; however long term exposure at higher temperatures may lower general corrosion resistance and even cause precipitates of chromium carbide precipitate formation.
Titanium’s stabilizing elements allow it to better resist work hardening than other chromium-nickel grades, but it still produces tough stringy chips when machined. To minimize this effect, run your machine at slower speeds with sufficient coolant flow and use high quality lubricants.
321 stainless steel is an attractive alternative to grade 304L for applications where sensitization is not an issue. Both grades can be readily welded together, however 304L may have lower hot strength compared to 321 making it unsuitable for very high temperature environments. We strongly advise consulting a qualified engineering professional when choosing which grade would best meet the requirements of your application.
Stainless Steel 316
Stainless Steel 316 is an austenitic grade of metal known for its superior corrosion resistance, featuring high levels of chromium and nickel that make it resistant to acid corrosion, such as that caused by acetic and phosphoric acids. Molybdenum further strengthens this grade’s durability against pitting and crevice corrosion – thus earning the designation “marine-grade stainless steel”, frequently used in marine environments.
As opposed to other grades of stainless steel, grade 316 cannot be hardened through heat treatment; however, cold working can improve its machinability and ductility for easier part shaping and increased elongation. Cold working also reduces work hardening issues which could damage its structure over time. Welding can also be done, although post-weld annealing must take place for optimal corrosion resistance.
This grade of metal can withstand harsh environments, from seawater and chemicals to temperatures reaching 2000degF – making it suitable for chemical production equipment and other industrial machinery, not to mention being forge-forged into strong components and wire rods.
It is crucial when selecting a stainless steel foil supplier to check their products’ quality and standards to ensure you receive products which meet national regulations as well as meeting your application needs. Furthermore, inquire into their manufacturing capabilities and production capacities so you can determine whether they can meet all of your specific requirements and deadlines.
When purchasing 0.03mm stainless steel foils in grades 304, 301, 316L or 316, it’s crucial that the material meets national standards. This ensures the metal meets all relevant regulations. Furthermore, check whether hot or cold rolling has occurred as this could impact its tensile strength, workability and acid resistance properties. All Foils has long assisted customers with finding ideal metal alloys for their applications; their experts will find you the ideal alloy whether your project requires thin or thick stainless steel sheets.
Stainless Steel 310
Stainless steel 310 plates are constructed using materials rich in chromium and nickel content, giving them superior strength and resilience in harsh environments. Furthermore, their composition provides exceptional oxidation resistance as well as corrosion protection against oxidation or corrosion damage. These characteristics make stainless steel an excellent material choice for a variety of applications, including water, oil and gas piping systems. Furthermore, its corrosion-resistance makes it an excellent choice for marine-related construction projects. Stainless steel foil insulation systems are widely utilized. This material’s moisture barrier capabilities help prevent moisture penetration that may damage insulation materials and cause rust to form in insulation materials, while its exceptional heat resistance ensures stable temperatures regardless of ambient temperatures.
310 is a medium carbon austenitic alloy with exceptional corrosion resistance in various environments, offering exceptional resistance against oxidation under mildly cyclic conditions up to 2000degF as well as good protection from sulfidation and other forms of hot corrosion. Additionally, this material is an excellent choice for moderately carburizing environments found in industrial heat treating furnaces; however it should not be used with frequent liquid quenching applications.
As is typical with austenitic grades, 310 will retain much of its room temperature strength at elevated temperatures. With a maximum dry air service temperature of 1100degC and applications such as fluidized bed combustors, kilns, radiant tubes, petroleum refining tube hangers, and steam boilers.
310 stainless steel not only boasts exceptional oxidation and corrosion resistance, but its weldability is excellent as well. TIG welding and arc welding are among the many standard methods that work, while it can easily be machined into various shapes. Furthermore, its ductility makes 310 an excellent choice for heavy-duty fabrication or machining applications.
Stainless steel is an incredibly versatile metal that can be formed into various forms, from sheet to rod to bar to wire and pipe. There are various grades – from standard to exotic – of stainless steel available; each grade offers special properties which make them suitable for different applications; selecting the grade that’s appropriate for your product will depend on its requirements and application.