Since stainless steel is known for its anti-corrosion properties and excellent tensile strength, you might think it’s a shoe-in for any job. While there are definitely benefits to working with stainless steel fasteners, there are three things you should consider before using them for your project.
Be Sure to Select the Proper Grade in Stainless Steel Fasteners
The most common grades of stainless steel used in fasteners are 304 and 316. These numbers relate to the corrosion factors of each, and more specifically the amount of molybdenum present, a component that increases the resistance against corrosion. If you are using your fasteners in an area that is subject to corrosion, consider selecting 316 stainless steel as it is considered marine grade.
Exposed Surface Contamination
Stainless steel fasteners are prone to corrosion if exposed portions are in contact with metallic dust and filings. This is important if you are using these fasteners to bolt down machinery, even if it’s in a home shop. If you are installing equipment that will produce metal dust, be sure your stainless steel fasteners are covered when the equipment is in operation or choose a fastener that is not sensitive in this manner. If stainless steel is left unprotected, not only will surface rust form, it will penetrate the fastener and weaken it, leading to possible injuries or dangerous incidents.
Choose the Right Finish for your Fasteners
It may seem like a small thing, but there is a big difference between a polished finish and a rough finish when it comes to stainless steel finishes. Since stainless steel is vulnerable to contaminants, if you are using these fasteners in an area that is potentially corrosive, opt for the polished finish. This makes brushing or rinsing away dust and filings easier. If your fasteners are used where rainwater can easily get to them, such as on downspouts or gate hardware, the rougher finish should hold up well since particles are naturally rinsed away.
You might think choosing fasteners is as easy as picking the right size, but the truth is your project is only as sturdy as the fasteners used to hold it together. Check out Ottawa Fastener Supply’s world famous wall of fasteners for a huge variety of solutions to meet the demands of any project!