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The Lowdown Behind 430 Stainless Steel

Friday, March 30, 2012 @ 04:03 AM
posted by admin

If you live in California, steel is one of the key products the state is well known for. According to statistics, close to 69% of this metal is recycled annually. This is more than the paper, plastic, aluminum, and glass combined. The first known commercial application of steel was in 1883 when skyscrapers were just starting to go up. While its uses are exhaustive and extensive, the practice of recycling is strictly adhered to in order to reduce its environmental impact.

Steel is an alloy, made up of mostly iron but with a carbon content of 0.2% to 2.1% by weight. Though carbon is a common component in its production, there are other alloy materials such as tungsten, chromium, and manganese to be found. The proportions and forms, in which these different elements are used, affect the outcome of the steel produced. Increasing the carbon content, for instance, will result in a product that offers increased strength. This is extremely important when making steel for different purposes. A beverage can’s requirements will be different from what is needed to make railway tracks.

Steel is assessed based on a number of properties. These include tensile strength, ductility, malleability, durability, conductivity, luster, and rust resistance.

Now if you think there is just one type, you are wrong. There are actually different grades of the product. There is mild steel that is a type of carbon steel. 430 stainless steel and 304 are the two others most commonly used. While they both have their similarities, they also have enough differences that keep them unique.

When it comes to features, here is where they differ. In terms of 430 steel, the metal has magnetic properties, while 304 steel does not have any. Also, 430 is a less expensive grade and can be somewhat difficult to form and weld. Type 304, on the other hand, is easier to create and form shapes with.

In the realm of applications, 430 are preferred in the production of automotive trim, the insides of clothes dryers, and dishwashers. Manufacturers use 304 steel for creating kitchen sinks, countertops, food processing equipment, and other items regularly exposed to corrosive environments.

Regarding the composition, 430 stainless steel is made up of 17% chromium and 0.12% carbon. 304 stainless steel contains 18% chromium and 0.08% carbon.

California steel has been used in most anything, from manufacturing agricultural implements to building bridges. Other things you come across include railway tracks, cars, engines, and airplanes. In fact, you will be hard pressed to find something that doesn’t contain an element of this highly versatile metal. Its unique properties allow it to be used in a variety of ways that make it indispensable to everyday living. Over the years, production has increased to its current levels of close to 1300 million tons a year. Whether it’s a fruit knife, an electric razor, a hair pin, or an entire building, there is a little bit of this marvelous metal in everything.

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