Do special finishes make sense for stainless steel?

 

Yes. Electropolishing of stainless steel is commonly used for food, drug, medical and semi-conductor applications and for those where high fatigue strength is needed. It removes burrs and sharp edges and lessens strains by removing microscopic nicks from the surface.

Sources: Professor Roger Wright of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Dr. Jack Grubb of Allegheny Ludlum; Dr. William H. Cullen Jr. of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Dr. Shui Lee of Central Wire Industries; websites of AK Steel, Allegheny Technologies, Carpenter Technology, Sandmeyer Steel and Haward Corp.

How we make mesh baskets for precision cleaning systems and parts washing

 

Marlin Steel Parts Washing Basket_Slide 1

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Is 316 stainless steel worth the extra cost over 304?

 

For most applications, 304 grade has the best combination of corrosion resistance, mechanical properties, and cost. For high corrosion resistance in food, biomedical, marine, and heat exchanger applications, 316 can be worth the price difference. The resistance to solvents, chlorides, acetic acid, and especially to salt water can make 316 the preferred choice. The quality of the surface finish and the amount of cold work (most often referred to as the hardness, as in quarter-hard or half-hard) influences the corrosion resistance greatly.

Sources: Professor Roger Wright, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Dr. Jack Grubb, Allegheny Ludlum; Dr. William H. Cullen, Jr., Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Dr. Shui Lee, Central Wire Industries. Also, web sites of AK Steel, Allegheny Technologies, Carpenter Technology, Sandmeyer Steel and Haward Corporation.

What makes stainless steel stainless?

 

Compared to plain carbon steel, stainless steels – there are more than 300 grades — contain at least 12 percent chromium. When the chromium combines with oxygen in the atmosphere, a thin, invisible layer called the passive film forms on the surface of the steel. The protective layer is so thin – a few atoms thick — that the metallic, grayish coloration of the underlying steel is visible. If it gets scratched, the oxides quickly form again to repair the invisible layer.

Roll of 304 Stainless bound for Marlin Steel

18,000-pound roll of 304 stainless bound for Marlin Steel being sliced into sheets at Maryland Metals Processing, Baltimore

On plain carbon steel, by contrast, the layer that forms in ambient environments is a different oxide that is orange, thick, loose and porous — better known as rust. Also, stainless steel isn’t technically stainless; rather, it “stains less.” The passive film needs oxygen to repair itself, so the “self-healing” is hampered in environments of low oxygen or high salinity like seawater.

Stainless’ distinctive look is responsible for such dramatic landmarks as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Cloud Gate in Chicago and the Chrysler Building in New York.

Sources: Professor Roger Wright, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute; Dr. Jack Grubb, Allegheny Ludlum; Dr. William H. Cullen, Jr., Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and Dr. Shui Lee, Central Wire Industries. Also, web sites of AK Steel, Allegheny Technologies, Carpenter Technology, Sandmeyer Steel and Haward Corporation. 




How robots create jobs here: Let us count the ways

 

incFrom Drew Greenblatt’s latest column in Inc. magazine on the connection between automation and job creation:

… A dozen robots on our shop floor form steel wire baskets at the rate of 20,000 bends an hour, or about five per second. The precision is light years beyond what we were capable of before, with tolerances measured to the thousandths of an inch. That craftsmanship allowed us to expand beyond bagel baskets into industrial containers for sensitive material for clients in automotive, aerospace, military, and health care. And with robots tacking the most brutish work, our employees’ well being has dramatically improved as well: Our last lost-time accident occurred during the Bush administration, more than 1,500 days ago. (And workers now get health insurance.)

That doesn’t mean we don’t need people. The argument by some, including on a recent “60 Minutes” segment, that robots rob jobs is overly simplistic. It echoes the old adage that generals are always prepared to fight the last war–to use old tactics to win new battles. Without robots our company would be out of business. Here are six ways robots have created jobs at Marlin Steel Wire Products … Read more