FAQs About Stainless Steel

As a leading stainless steel distributor in the country, Alliant Metals has been asked nearly every question under the sun about our different stainless steel grades and forms, especially for our 420 and 420F stainless steel. With over 30 years of knowledge in the industry, we have collected some of our most frequently asked questions from our consumers and have some simple answers that can help make your metal purchasing decisions easier.

What is the difference between steel and stainless steel?

To prevent rust you can see with ordinary steel when exposed to different elements, stainless steel is designed to resist corrosion. Stainless steel contains at least 10% chromium, which reacts with oxygen to create a secure and invisible protective layer of the steel which helps resist corrosion.

Is it magnetic?

To many people’s surprise, there are various types of stainless steel. Depending on the mixture of different metals in stainless steel, which creates a particular atomic arrangement, some are magnetic and some are not.  400 series such as 420 and 420F stainless, 17-4 and 15-5 are some of the magnetic stainless steels and 300 series such as 303, 304, 316 are non-magnetic in nature.

Can stainless steel be used for extreme temperatures?

Yes, stainless steel will work in both extreme hot and cold temperatures, including wet environments. For this reason, alone, stainless steel is found in many industries who rely on strong metal alloys to hold up in the harshest conditions.

What forms of stainless steel exist?

Once again, because there are various types of stainless steels, the forms will vary. Alliant Metals can procure round, square, hex, flat, plate, sheet, round tube/pipe, square tube/pipe, rectangular tube/pipe, and angles. Refer to our products page to learn more about which forms can work with what types of stainless steel.

Can stainless steel be machined?

Though all forms of stainless steel are durable, it is a difficult metal to machine because of their high alloy content. That said, there are stainless steels that have been created to use in free-machining, such as 420F stainless steel.     Also see our products page and machinability rating chart for further details.

Whether these answers help make your final decision for your metal ordering, or you have additional questions about our products and services, Alliant Metals’ team would be happy to work with you. Our professionals dedicate themselves to giving you promises we can deliver. If you have more questions, please contact us today by calling (800) 543-1453.

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