There are many grades of carbon steels, with mild steel grades such as S275 and S355 being the most commonly used in general applications. Mild steel is regularly selected as the default choice for the manufacture of both structural and non-structural components due to its balance of its strength, ductility, weld ability and affordability.
Stainless steel offers the advantage of being naturally resistant to corrosion and has a non-porous surface which can be used in environments that are corrosive through to those that are hygiene sensitive such as the food manufacture and preparation industries along with clinical environments. Stainless steels also provide an attractive finish for use in the architectural & ornamental applications. Stainless steel can be supplied on mill, brushed, dull or bright polished surface finishes. The most common grades we’re asked to manufacture products from is 304/304L and 316/316L.
Aluminium alloys are a versatile material available in a variety of grades to suit a range of applications, from structural engineering components where weight is a key design consideration through to packaging foils. Aluminium is one of the lightest engineering materials and although not particularly strong when compared to carbon steels, is has a greater strength to weight ratio while being fairly corrosion resistant. Like carbon steels and stainless steels, aluminium can be welded however it is more sensitive to shrinkage and distortion during welding.
Chromium alloyed steels builds upon the core advantages of plain carbon steel. The addition of chromium to the chemical composition of the steel introduces a level of corrosion resistance while also providing a greater level of wear resistance due to an increase in material hardness. The increase in material hardness, does however reduce the materials ductility. Depending on the grade and surface preparation, the material can have a highly polished appearance which makes it a good choice for cosmetic applications in architectural design and in environments that are to be kept clean and aesthetically appealing.
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For further information on South West Engineering and Fabrication call us on 01644 420391 to discuss how we can assist you to cut out cost effective components for your business.