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Stainless Steel Alloys

Stainless Steel Alloys

Last updated Dec 21, 2023 | Published on Mar 31, 2017

While stainless steel is a durable material for many applications, not all steel alloys are created equal. As one of the most common materials for parts used in extreme environments, stainless steel has applications in industries ranging from automotive to home appliance. With extensive experience working with and fabricating stainless steel components, Boyd can help customers choose the correct stainless steel alloy for their application.

Which Stainless Steel Is Right For Your Project?

Each stainless steel alloy is unique in element composition and elongation, resulting in differing performance capabilities, visual characteristics, cost profiles, and elongation ratios. Elongation is the amount of expansion a metal under stress can endure given its original length. The two most common alloys employed in automotive and major appliance parts are the 300 and 400 series.

Stainless Steel 300 Series

With superior elongation, the stainless steel 300 series is non-magnetic and employed where severe metal forming is required. Prevalent in the automotive industry, the 300 series is also known for extreme corrosion resistance, crack resistance, and non-yellowing when subjected to high temperatures. The automotive industry favors the 300 series for sill plates, liftgate trim, and other vehicle accents that are exposed to rugged environments. For its durability under high temperatures, the 300 series is used in many stovetop ranges for the home appliance industry as well.

Stainless Steel 400 Series

By contrast, the stainless steel 400 series is magnetic and has a smooth surface finish that is ideal for home appliance products, but can be more susceptible to corrosion than the 300 series (as it contains less chromium and nickel). Due to this, the 400 series is more cost effective than the 300 series. The 400 series is the alloy of choice for cost-sensitive appliance applications, such as dish washers and refrigerators. While these two are commonly used, this is far from an exhaustive list of steel alloys. In addition to help selecting the right stainless steel alloy, Boyd can provide customers with industry-leading metal decoration capabilities including selective mechanical finishing on stainless steel. Boyd’s mechanical metal finishing capabilities include but are not limited to brushing, spinning, and tooled patterns. In addition to mechanical finishing, Boyd offers a number of finishing options including premium coatings and inks. Boyd has years of material science and process innovation experience. For more information about some of our metal decoration capabilities, visit our Scuff-Resistant Coatings Blog or schedule a consultation with our experts

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