Today’s world of construction, automotive, mechanical engineering and many other branches can hardly develop without stainless steel. This was created in 1821 when the French Berthier added 1.5% chromium to steel to make cutlery.
Stainless steel has a long history of use in engineering for a long time. We can find stainless steel products anywhere: turbo machinery, kitchen utensils, aerospace engineering, surgery, oil and gas industry, food industry, construction, etc. This extensive use is due to its most important characteristic: resistance to corrosion. Stainless steel is also known as anti-corrosion or rust resistant.
Different methods for cutting stainless steel
There are different ways for cutting stainless steel, today, we’re going to talk about four ways to cut them to the extent required in most projects today.
The term “stainless” means that it does not present the typical reddish stains resulting from the oxidation of iron. Corrosion is caused by chemical and physicochemical reactions and it is worth noting that there are different types of corrosion.
Specifically, steel is one of the most used metals, it is made up of an alloy of iron and carbon, it is available in the market in laminates that have to be subjected to cuts to obtain the different objects that are desired to be manufactured from this material.
Stainless steels have been the choice metal for making kitchen sinks, electric hand-held appliances, railway couplings, air conditioners, trains, boats and cars for a very long time. Their high conductivity and resistance to corrosion make them perfect for a wide range of uses. However, in the past few years the use of aluminum in all these products has raised several questions as to whether or not these products are safe for human consumption. This has prompted several studies to be done on the subject to determine exactly the health risks of the application of stainless steel to human beings.
In recent tests alloys of stainless steel have proved to be relatively safe when applied to human beings and when tested in terms of both physical and chemical properties. The results showed that there was very little increase in the risk of surface corrosion, or the erosion of mechanical and tensile strength. The results also showed that application of a high alloyed stainless steel sheet resulted in an increase in thermal expansion, which increased the strength of the metal. Of course the increased thermal expansion must be coupled with a reduction in the tensile strength, but the results so far show that this is not a major concern.
Other metals commonly used in the manufacture of mechanical components are: chromium, cobalt, vanadium, nickel and titanium. While all of these metals have their own benefits, none of them can compete with the benefits of stainless steel, especially when considering its ability to resist corrosion and mechanical strength. It is also extremely resistant to the penetration of toxic substances, especially those which may be present during the fabrication of the final product.
Water jet cutting
Using a water jet is the best cutting method for steel, because it is extremely accurate and there is no heat distortion. The only disadvantage is the operating cost, due to the high prices of the intensifier pump.
This is one of the most accurate steel cutting processes that exist, offering precision and quality in the cut. In addition, it allows cutting both small and large pieces of steel. However, it is sometimes considered a slow process because it is an extreme burning process, and its speed is limited by the chemical reaction between oxygen and iron.
Plasma is a gas that can reach high temperatures and be able to cut solid materials like steel. This type of cut can offer greater speed; however, it does sacrifice a bit of its precision. It is worth mentioning that the main disadvantage of this type of cut is that the equipment is expensive, although due to its speed and effectiveness it is frequently used in high-volume production lines.
Cutting with oxygen
It is considered one of the simplest and cheapest cutting methods. The torch cutting is one of the most classic and effective, since it can cut a very thick plate. Its only limitation is the amount of oxygen it uses.
Main properties of stainless steel
- Higher resistance to corrosion
- Greater cryogenic resistance
- Higher rate of mechanical hardening.
- Greater resistance to high temperatures.
- Greater ductility.
- Greater strength and toughness.
- A cleaner and more attractive appearance.
- They require less maintenance
We hope that this information is of your entire use, when using stainless steel, in any of its types and applications in today’s world.