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Stainless Steel Pipe, Pros & Cons

Stainless steel traces its roots back to the early 1800’s in France. Carbon steel is alloyed with chromium to produce a corrosion resistant metal. During this process, other elements are included to develop the various alloys that are used today. Stainless steel pipe and stainless steel tubing is often used in construction for its appearance as well as its strength and corrosion resistance.

Stainless steel traces its roots back to the early 1800’s in France. Carbon steel is alloyed with chromium to produce a corrosion resistant metal. During this process, other elements are included to develop the various alloys that are used today. Stainless steel pipe and stainless steel tubing is often used in construction for its appearance as well as its strength and corrosion resistance. During a process called passivation, a thin layer of chromium oxide forms on the outer surface of the stainless components. It is this barrier that protects the base metal from the elements.

 

Since this layer is very thin, the luster of the base metal is still visible. Stainless steel pipe and stainless steel tubing is used to convey acids and other caustic fluids in industrial applications, as well as commercial food services. The unique molecular structure also has anti-bacterial properties that make it an excellent choice for the food service industry. Stainless steel tubing is used in the food industry for transporting milk and food product within the processing system. Distributors of stainless steel pipe fittings are abundant. This makes it easier to locate suppliers that service industrial areas. With structural pipe, installation is simplified by its excellent weld characteristics.

 

Stainless pipe fittings require less preparation time before assembly. Common steel products are often painted to protect them before installation. This needs to be removed before the pipe fittings get put in. This is not the case with stainless pipe fittings. There are a few factors that restrict the use of stainless in construction. A primary concern is price. Stainless components are more expensive when compared to other materials. This can be a limiting factor. The assembly of stainless steel components can also be problematic.

 

When putting together nuts and bolts that are made of stainless steel, galling needs to be prevented. Galling happens when the thin protective layer of chromium oxide it scraped off. During this process, the base metals come into contact under pressure. This increased friction along with heat makes the components stick together at the molecular level. As the assembly is continued, small pieces of the base metal are dislodged. This leaves a rough surface which can eventually lock the two components together. Suppliers and distributors of stainless steel have anti-seize compounds that can be applied to structural pipe to help eliminate or minimize galling on installed components.

 

This article is for informational purposes only. You should always consult a pipe dealer before tackling your next construction project.


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