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"My stainless has gone rusty. It can't be stainless. What's gone wrong? Who's to blame? How to fix it?"

Although nearly all cold formed steel section work perfectly as intended by the designer and fabricator, there are a significant amount of instances where someone, frequently the user, is disappointed through the performance from the material. What causes these disappointments often belong to just a few basic categories. In the majority of cases, a little bit basic knowledge would have prevented or significantly improved the specific situation.

About the assumption that prevention is preferable to cure, this information addresses these issues.

The causes of disappointment can arise at any time within the long supply chain that frequently applies to a stainless project. This can help to spell out why problems occur. Receiving the appropriate knowledge to any or all aspects of the availability chain is tough and it only takes ignorance in a single small part to generate a problem down the road. The principle issues are:

Significance of surface finish in determining corrosion resistance

Lack of knowledge in this area can be a major reason for problems. Most specifiers and designers understand the importance of deciding on a grade of stainless, by way of example 1.4301 (304) or 1.4401 (316). But surface finish are at least as crucial. The subject is fully explored in The value of Surface Finish in the appearance of Stainless Steel.

Briefly, a bright polished surface gives maximum corrosion resistance.

A directional polish equivalent to the EN 10088-2 2K (Ra = .5 micron max), usually produced using silicon carbide (SiC) abrasives, can give adequate corrosion resistance in lots of severe environments notably heavy urban and coastal ones.

A frequent surface finish achieved with 240 grit alumina abrasives has become implicated in the corrosion of stainless in urban and coastal environments. Occasionally, surface roughness Ra values have been measured at well above 1 micron which is known to be inadequate during these environments.

The lack of any specified surface finish on architectural drawings could possibly be the supply of the very last problem.

If, at any stage in the supply chain, there is certainly question regarding the appropriate surface finish, specialist advice needs to be sought.

Significance of post-fabrication treatments

Besides some specialised processes, welds in special steel section always lead to some extent of warmth tint. Heat tint is largely an oxidised surface with a reduced corrosion resistance when compared to the parent material. Therefore, the standard practice is to execute some kind of post weld treatment to further improve the corrosion resistance.

Details of these procedures is available at:

Post Weld Cleaning and Finishing of Stainless Steels

Welding and Post Fabrication Cleaning for Construction and Architectural Applications

Good fabrication practice always includes post weld treatment. Failure to accomplish this can produce unnecessary cost of rectification afterwards.

Incredible importance of segregating carbon and stainless steel

Sometimes "rusting" of stainless turns out to be nothing from the kind. This is the rusting of carbon steel which includes contaminated the surface of the steel at some stage in the production process. Possible types of contamination from carbon steel include:


Lifting Gear, Ropes, Chains

Grinding dust

Cutting sparks

Wire brushes

Wherever possible, stainless-steel and carbon steel ought to be fabricated in separate regions of the workshop or better still in separate workshops. Where extremely hard it is important to clean down machines used for carbon steel before utilizing them for steel. Steel surfaces ought to be protected with plastic coatings as long as possible.

Importance of site management

It really is quite feasible for everything being done well in fabrication, only for the entire project being spoiled by inappropriate practices at your location. The problems outlined in 3. apply as much on the site installation as any place else during this process.

Furthermore, it must be remembered that what exactly is appropriate for one building material is completely unacceptable for one more. For stainless steel it requires to remembered that masonry and brick cleaners may contain hydrochloric acid sometimes called muriatic acid. If these fluids should be used at all near 304 duplex pipe, care should be delivered to protect the stainless-steel surfaces. If splashes occur, they ought to be immediately washed with water. Failure dexopky10 do this can result in serious attack of the stainless-steel resulting in expensive rectification costs

Need for choosing correct grade for your application

This aspect almost goes without saying. It really is only this far down within the list because it usually is considered. But if the "wrong" grade has become chosen the consequences might be severe. Some guidelines on material selection are provided here.

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