Since its production more than a hundred years ago, stainless steel has become one of the most popular and reliable products in the world and is now indispensable in a number of industries. This involves a variety of unique uses for stainless steel pipes that benefit from the many positive characteristics of the metal.
Although steel had been around for decades, it was vulnerable to corrosion and had other weaknesses that led scientists to search for alternative alloys that could perform better in harsh circumstances. It was recognized in the early 1800s that superior rust resistance was provided by the iron-chromium mixture, but it took another century before they finally zeroed in on the right formula.
Stainless Steel Pipes Application
The advantages of a corrosion-resistant metal should be abundantly evident when it comes to pipes. That is why a common preference for piping applications is stainless steel. It can be hard to differentiate between them since pipes and tubes come in a wide range of shapes and sizes. Stainless steel pipe manufacturers usually classify pipes based on their functions for this purpose.
Among the most common alloys used for pipes is grade 304 stainless steel. This is because of its resistance to all-around corrosion and other advantages. Strong chemical resistance is also provided by 304, an added benefit for materials exposed to high concentrations of water, especially in industrial settings.
However, 304 will not be appropriate when you treat temperatures above 800 degrees Fahrenheit, as it becomes prone to carbide precipitation. In such cases, stainless steel would be more fitting.
Stainless Pressure Pipe
One particular application for piping is known as the pressure pipe for stainless steel. This grade of stainless steel consists of solid chromium, or, alternatively, a combination of chromium and nickel. The required alloys are usually from the ferritic and austenitic families for this type of pipe. Applications include seamless pipe, welded pipe, welded pipe with electric fusion, and welded pipe with a wide diameter. For corrosive or high-temperature applications, as well as for high-pressure conditions, this type of pipe can be useful.
Sanitary tubing is another common application for stainless steel piping. For instance, in the food and beverage and medical device industries, sanitation is a prime consideration. Besides its corrosion resistance, stainless steel pipe is celebrated because it is easy to clean and does not tarnish. A common option for sanitary piping is the ASTMA270 alloy.
In high-performance industries such as aerospace and engineering, some applications are for stainless steel pipes. Chromium and nickel-based alloys have a high degree of heat resistance, a major factor for aircraft. Aircraft tubing of stainless steel must also be sturdy and able to be work-hardened and welded.
Stainless steel pipe has a variety of other advantages. Stainless steel alloys provide higher cryogenic durability, a higher rate of work hardening, improved strength and stiffness, greater ductility, a more attractive look, and lower maintenance costs compared to standard steel. With all that going for it, it is no wonder that in such a wide variety of industries, like piping, stainless steel is so common.