Over 200 billion fasteners are created every year in the United States alone. Though not all fasteners are created equal. Choosing the right fastener material is critical for the success of your application. A wide variety of fasteners are made from stainless steel, is that the best material for your new fasteners? Let’s explore stainless just a bit with a few surprising facts that you may not be aware of.
1.) Stainless steel fasteners can self-repair
Stainless steel fasteners have a protective surface that can self-repair minor damage. When the fastener surface is scratched the exposed inner layer will react with the oxygen in the air to form a new protective layer.
2.) Stainless steel fasteners may retain mild magnetic properties
Stainless steel is typically thought of as non-magnetic however that is not always true. Typically stainless steel is comprised of low carbon steel plus approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel (depending on the grade). Other varieties may include small amounts of other alloys which can be magnetic.
3.) Stainless steel fasteners can still corrode in the right circumstances
One of the most attractive properties of stainless is that it will not corrode. However, this major selling point is dependent on the stainless steel coming into contact with oxygen. As we stated above, the material reacts with oxygen to form a protective layer; it is this layer that keeps the material from corroding. In low-oxygen environments that layer cannot form on the alloy which means the material will certainly corrode if exposed to corrosive chemicals or environments.
Stainless steel can be an excellent choice for your fasteners but it is very important to fully understand both its attractive properties and any potential drawbacks. If you have questions about selecting the right fastener material for your specific application it is best to reach out to your manufacturer or supplier to discuss your options.
How can fasteners from UC Components, Inc. help you?
UC Components, Inc. has been the world leader in high vacuum hardware since 1974. While the right materials, coating, plating, or finishing treatment for your fastener application is best defined by your process engineer, we are always here to assist you.
We offer a variety of standard and vented hex nuts, washers, and screws, numerous finish options, along with specialized venting designs, complete custom product development, and Class 100/ISO Class 5 Cleanroom cleaning & packaging. If you do not see the fastener or material that you need listed in our standard products, please give us a call! We may not stock it but we are happy to acquire and manufacture just about any fastener you need.
View our parts catalog online to find the components you need, request a quote, or contact us for more assistance or additional information. If you do not see the items that you need listed in our standard products, please give us a call! We may not stock it but we are happy to acquire and manufacture just about any fastener or O-ring that you need.