There are plenty of materials that are used to manufacture construction and industrial hardware, including traditional steel, iron and titanium. While these options are often the go-to choices for building projects that require strength and durability, stainless steel is another option that builders and designers can utilize thanks to this metal’s many benefits.
The truth is that stainless steel hardware, including strong stainless steel washers for tough settings, can offer not only extended durability, but it can also provide lasting beauty. A big part of the reason for this is that stainless steel resists corrosion at a higher rate compared to other metals, making it long-lasting and beautiful year after year.
The Metallurgical Makeup of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel building hardware, including things like 18/8 stainless steel washers and 300 series stainless steel washers, are often made up of different elements that differentiate this metal from traditional steel. Specifically, stainless steel contains chromium at a rate of 10% or more by weight. This amount of chromium is what helps 17/4 stainless steel washers, 17/7 stainless steel washers and other stainless hardware resist corrosion due to oxidation.
Nickel is another element that is combined with steel to create the stainless variety. When nickel is added to traditional steel, the mixture forms austenite. A stainless product that contains this type of mixture provides for easier welding and also provides durability in extreme temperatures.
Additionally, stainless steel can contain added carbon. Products that contain little carbon may be more prone to corrosion and may perform poorly against extreme temperatures.
Stainless Provides More Design Options
Because stainless resists corrosion and remains brilliant for longer, it offers more design choices for builders. This is beneficial since there’s less need to design around the hardware in order to hide it. Design professionals have more flexibility when working with stainless as it gives more opportunities to implement stainless into design choices.
Cleanup is a Breeze
Stainless hardware also offers a metallic surface that is easier to clean compared to some other metals that may require special chemicals. You probably already know that water and most metals don’t mix, especially with repeated or prolonged exposure. In most cases, metal that is exposed to water on a regular basis will begin to experience oxidation, and rust will develop.
Since stainless steel is designed to resist corrosion, cleaning this hardware or the fixtures and components it attaches to can be achieved using a wider variety of methods. As an added benefit, this adds to the value of stainless steel hardware since regular cleaning will help extend hardware usage.
Stainless Offers Strength
Plastic hardware has come a long way in recent decades due to new manufacturing processes that add strength to the chemical mixture of modern plastics. While plastic may be suitable for many building projects, stainless often provides even more strength in tough conditions.
Comparatively, the durability of stainless over plastic comes down to tensile strength. This is the amount that a material can be stretched when measuring its structural integrity. Stainless steel has a much higher tensile strength when compared to plastic, and this makes it superior for many hardware applications that require pressure, including washers and fasteners.
Consult With an Expert
Before beginning any major construction project, renovation, remodel or installation that may involve stainless steel, it’s often a good idea to consult with an expert. There are many different types of stainless steel hardware products out there, and choosing the one that’s right for your project’s needs can make a big difference in the durability of your project. Knowing the right building hardware products to use can make all the difference, and an expert can steer you in the right direction.