Many manufacturers in Melbourne rely on stainless steel fabrication services as part of their assembly line. To supply their unique needs, there are various stainless steel fabricators Melbourne wide that make components and can even assemble the parts into a product so manufacturers can accomplish the process in their own factory.
To meet the manufacturers’ specific needs, stainless steel fabricators Melbourne wide ensure that the fabrication process retains and does not affect the unique properties of stainless steel. Additionally, they only use tools dedicated to the material on the process and ensure all work surfaces are completely cleaned before use. These precautions are essential to avoid cross contamination of material and reliable stainless steel fabricators know that. If you are a manufacturer who is interested in knowing more about the stainless steel fabricating process keep reading on.
In addition to the commercial advantages of choosing stainless steel as a material, (like corrosion and heat resistance), another benefit is its fabrication properties. Some techniques are better to specific stainless grades than to normal carbon steels. But because stainless steel tends to have higher strength and work hardening rates than carbon steel, some changes regarding equipment may be required.
Austenitic stainless steel can be used for the production of deep drawn components that require very high elongations. This explains why stainless steel is widely specified for the production of hollowware.
Standard cutting methods applied for other metals can also be used to cut most grades of stainless steel. However, the work hardening rate of stainless steels sometimes calls for heavier equipment, thus specific blades or cutting edges are necessary. Changes in the heat affected zone must be also considered when the cutting method causes high heats along the cut. Common cutting methods include:
- Laser cutting
- Plasma cutting
- Water jet cutting
- Abrasive disc cutting
Bending stainless steel can be done using the same equipment that is used to bend other materials. Again, the work hardening rate may require more rigid equipment and higher power levels.
- Flat and bar bending – Flat bar, round bar, plate and sheet can be bent with a press brake, ring-rolling or bending machine. Due to work hardening, the bending must be done quickly. Over-bending may be necessary to counteract spring-back of the bend.
- Tube bending – It is generally applied for architectural applications but it can be used for other applications as well. Bending of stainless steel tubes can be hard to complete if not performed by experienced persons.
Traditional welding methods can be used to weld most grades of stainless steel. But, the weldability of diverse grades can vary considerably. Some austenitic grades are known to be the most readily welded metals.
Stainless steel is known to be difficult to machine. But selecting the correct grade of machine and considering the following rules can make the whole process of machining easier.
- Cutting edges must be kept sharp
- Lubricant should be used in large quantities
- Chip breakers should be applied to help ensure that there is no swarf left
Stainless steel has an incredible corrosion resistance and this is one its greatest characteristics. However, proper finishing is still necessary to maintain it. After any fabrication process that modifies the surface condition of the material, stainless steel needs to be degreased, cleaned and finished properly. Common finishing methods include passivation, pickling, grinding, mechanical polishing, electropolishing, colouring and blackening.