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Stainless Steel 101

Understanding the Issues

Exposure to extreme weather conditions, salt air, preservative treated wood and other caustic conditions can pose a serious threat to metal construction fasteners. Our solid stainless steel fasteners are not subject to corrosion caused by breaches or failures in surface finishes found on galvanized and ceramic coated fasteners.

Corrosion of fasteners can quickly cause unsightly staining, streaking and discoloration, and eventually impact structural integrity. Given the high cost of labor, lumber and other building materials, paying a little more for top quality stainless steel fasteners is a good step toward preventing corrosion and protecting your investment.

About Stainless Steel Alloys

Stainless steel is comprised of iron base alloys containing a minimum of 11.5% chromium. This presence of chromium is key to stainless steel's corrosion resistant qualities; as it combines with oxygen to form a tough, thin, clear film of chrome oxide on the metal's surface, insulating the alloy against caustic attack.

18-8 Stainless Steel is a category that includes Type 302, 303, 304, and 305 stainless steels. These alloys contain approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel. The properties of these alloys are similar and provide more than adequate protection in most cases. Some small items may become slightly magnetic during manufacturing.

Type 316 Stainless Steel contains slightly more nickel than 18-8 stainless steel and 2-3% molybdenum giving it better resistance to corrosion, especially in high chloride (salt) environments that tend to cause pitting. It offers superior performance when exposed to seawater and even resists corrosion in sulfuric acid compounds. Type 316 stainless steel is not magnetic. We recommend 316 stainless steel for seaside applications whenever appearance is important.

Type 410 Stainless Steel is a Martensitic alloy containing 12% chromium but no nickel, making it somewhat less resistant to corrosion than all of the 300 series alloys. It is magnetic and hardenable by heat treatment, lending it to the mechanical properties necessary for concrete screws and self-drilling screws.

Given proper installation, our Durable Stainless Fasteners ensure a lifetime of structural integrity and pleasing, stain-free appearance.

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