Stainless steel plates also known as rustless steel or chromium steel is made from a mixture of several elements which includes Steel, Chromium, Copper & Molybdenum to name a few. Unlike normal carbon steel, Stainless steel plates do not easily corrode or rust.  The addition of chromium to steel enhances its corrosion and stain resistance properties. Stainless steel plates have become widely preferred commodities thanks to their excellent anti-oxidation & anti-bacterial qualities.

Industrial Use of Stainless Steel Plates

Due to their excellent corrosion resistance properties & relatively low maintenance cost, Stainless steel plates have become a highly popular choice in a number of industries.

  • Automotive Industry: First used in the early 1930’s Stainless steel plates have now become an integral part of the automotive industry. Investors and stainless steel manufacturers use these plates in several parts from car exhausts to the trim & grills.
  • Energy & heavy Industry: Special grades of Stainless steel plates have been developed to use in industries operating in high heat & toxic environments. High-grade steel finds much use in the construction of strong tanks, valves & pipes among other components in industries such as petro-chemical plants.

How are Stainless Steel Plates & Sheets made?

  • The steel along with the raw materials are first melted in an electric furnace at a very high temperature. After about 10 hours, the molten steel is cast into solid form.
  • After forming the molten steel is subjected to heat treatment or in other words annealing. During this stage the metal is subjected to heating & cooling which in turn softens the metal.
  • After this stage, scraps are formed on the surface of the metal and several processes such as pickling or electro cleaning remove these.
  • The final stage of the process consists of cutting & trimming the metal to the desired shape.

Different Grades of Stainless Steel Plates

Currently they are more than 60 grades of stainless steel available and these are divided among five different classes. The 304 & 304L Stainless steel plates, which are the most widely used variety of steel plates, belong to the austenitic family of stainless steel.

  • These types of steel are non-magnetic and containnickel, molybdenum, nitrogen, carbon, chromium along with steel. Austenitic Steel contains around 17.5 to 19.5% of chromium which helps fight off corrosion even under continued exposure to water.
  • 304 Stainless Steel is also called 18-8 Stainless steel, indicating the 18:8 ratio of chromium and nickel in the mixture.
  • Even though the process of annealing is not needed in, 304L it does not have the mechanical strength that 304 stainless steel possesses.
  • 316 & 316L Stainless steel are preferred in marine environments as well as in high temperature & toxic environments. 316 differ from 304 grades due to the presence of molybdenum, which further enhances the corrosion resistance feature of the Stainless steel plates. In acidic environments, the 316 grade of Stainless steel protects against corrosion caused by hydrochloric acid, sulphuric acid, acid sulphates & alkaline chloride.

The other grades of stainless steel commonly used in the manufacture of stainless steel plates include 321, 321L, 310S, 317L, 347H & Duplex stainless steel. Other subdivisions of Stainless steel other than austenitic steel include – Duplex grades, precipitation-hardening grades, Super alloy grades & Martensitic grades.

Published by Evan Javier