The Various Grades of Stainless Steel Bars and When They Might be Called for

by | Jan 30, 2017 | Steel Fabricator


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Finding the right style of stainless steel for a given job often proves to be one of the most important steps of all. Selecting the most suitable grade means being sure the material in question will live up to everything demanded of it. Stainless Steel Bars are available in a wide range of types from providers, so making sure to investigate all the options will generally pay off. A little bit of research will often make things much easier further down the line along with allowing for even simpler decision-making when it comes to future projects.

Stainless Steel Bars are most commonly graded according to well-established SAE standards. The three-digit codes the bars carry reflect the composition of each, with different alloys offering varying kinds of performance. Among bars correctly classified as “stainless,” only one particular recipe falls into the carbon-steel family. Labeled by the SAE as type 102, this general-purpose steel boasts a reasonable resistance to corrosion along with impressive cost-effectiveness.

In many cases, however, bars that can withstand corrosive influences to an even greater degree will be needed. SAE 200-series alloys include a pair that sometimes suffices with the addition of chromium, manganese, and nickel to the standard mixture of carbon and iron lending significantly improved performance. Bars labeled as SAE 201 grade may still be hardened further through low-temperature working, making them often a suitable choice where the material will be shaped on site. Steel graded as SAE 202, on the other hand, while not amenable to cold working, builds on the overall flexibility and cost-effectiveness of SAE 101 with an improved corrosion resistance profile.

Between these several basic options, many applications calling for at least some degree of corrosion resistance will be covered. When more specialized needs arise, an alloy from the SAE 300 series will typically be chosen instead. These forms of steel tend to be significantly more specialized, in general, with particular additives being designed to help improve performance further with regard to corrosion and staining. In many cases, it will make the most sense to consult an expert when such needs arise, as there are enough options of these types that sorting through them can be difficult.

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