Tips for Selecting Stainless Steel Fasteners for Your Applications

Stainless steel fasteners are used for structural and architectural projects as well as various other industrial applications. These fasteners are available in various types, providing different levels of corrosion resistance and strength. This is why you should keep certain things in mind while selecting these fasteners for your application. Here, we will discuss tips for selecting the right type of stainless steel fastener for your project.

Important Factors to Consider While Selecting Stainless Steel Fasteners for Your Next Application

The following are some important tips for stainless steel fastener selection for your next project:

1. Select the Right Grade: The specification of the grade is usually based on the strength, corrosion resistance and materials to be fastened. The following are some of the popular grades:

  • 303: This grade offers the best machinability, finish and is commonly used for welding. It is also the most cost effective.
  • 304: This is a general purpose grade and is used for home projects and coastal exterior projects.
  • 316: This is referred to as surgical grade due to its excellent resistance to corrosion and rust.
  • 410: This Martensitic grade is ideal for less corrosive environments and can be hardened by heat treatment.

2. Select the Right Surface Finish: Smoother surface finish improves corrosion resistance. Most stainless steel fasteners have satin, brushed, or rougher surface finishes. Many of these finishes can trap dust particles and produce tea-staining, thereby lending a rusty appearance. This situation worsens if a stainless steel fastener is exposed to running water, or rain water. So it is very important to consider the surface finish depending on where it is going to be used.

3. Explore Electro-polishing: Stainless steel fasteners to be used in corrosive environments are coated with chromium oxide to prevent corrosion. The electro-polishing or acid treatment is usually performed to improve the corrosion resistance of a chromium oxide coating. So while sourcing your fastener from a supplier consider the option of electro-polishing.

4. Investigate Situations of Galvanic Corrosion: Galvanic corrosion is caused when dissimilar metals come in contact with each other. For instance, it is caused when copper or lead flashings are installed on aluminum roofs. Always investigate the application area where the stainless steel fastener is going to be used. There are situations when you cannot avoid it but you can always isolate metals by using rubber/nylon barriers.

5. Avoid Buying Low-Nickel Stainless Steel Fasteners: There are lots of low-nickel stainless steel fasteners available for purchase. Although these fasteners are made available at low prices, they should be avoided. These fasteners have poor corrosion resistance, and strength.

So, the next time when you decide to invest in stainless steel fasteners you need to keep the above mentioned points in mind. Alternatively, you can check with the Norwood to understand the benefits and disadvantages of certain stainless steel grades. We will also help you understand the dos and don’ts for specific types of fasteners.

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