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News The Properties of Stainless Steel


Stainless steels are steels that contain at least 10.5% chromium, less than 1.2% carbon and other alloying elements. The exact ratios depend on the grade and the intended use for the steel. For example, our grade 2205 and grade 316 stainless steels are for outdoor uses whereas our grade 304 is for indoor use. Common additives include:

  • Nickel
  • Carbon
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Nitrogen
  • Sulphur
  • Copper
  • Silicon
  • Titanium
  • Phosphorus
  • Calcium

There are over 100 grades of stainless steel, and each element is added for its own purpose. This may be to increase corrosion resistance for specific environments, enhance oxidation resistance and impart special characterises.

The majority are classified into four groups, austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, and duplex.


Types of stainless steel

  1. Austenitic

Austenitic stainless steel contains significant amounts of chromium and nickel. It is the highest corrosion resistance and is incapable of becoming hardened by heat treatment.

  1. Ferritic

Ferritic steels have a low carbon content making them incapable of becoming hardened by heat treatment. Is has chromium ranging from 10.5% to 30% and a carbon level under 20%

  1. Martensitic

Typically containing 11.5-18% chromium and as much as 1.2% carbon. It is strong, ductile, and magnetic.

  1. Duplex

Duplex stainless steels have an extremely high strength, good weldability in thick sections, good on toughness and are corrosion resistance.


Benefits of stainless steel

  1. Corrosion resistance

One of the main benefits of stainless-steel is its corrosion resistance qualities. Stainless steel is a steel alloy that contains 10.5% chromium which reacts with the oxygen forming a protective layer. Grades 316 also contain 3% molybdenum which further strengthens its resistance to corrosions making it perfect for outdoor applications.

Being corrosion resistant allows the steel to withstand extreme temperatures such as wind, rain, snow, and heatwaves. If used for industrial uses, it can prevent operation malfunctions and can also stop rusting for interior design applications.

2. Fire and Heat resistant

Stainless steel is often an ideal choice in working industries where flames are possible. This is because stainless steel will not catch on fire or aid in the propagation of spreading flames. It can retain its strength even under extreme heat and fire conditions. This benefit makes it a great choice when fire prevention is in mind.

3. Strength

Certain grades of stainless steel are hardened to create a stronger version of stainless steel. The added manganese helps to improve stainless steels hot working properties and increases its strength, toughness, and hardenability. All grades have a high shock resistance and can endure heavy loads.

The strength of stainless steel makes it perfect for uses in building trades and infrastructure where heavy loads may be applied.

4. Hygiene

Due to its chemical makeup, stainless steel rejects the growth of bacteria and other pathogens thus avoiding the build up of dirt. It only requires a quick wipe to maintain the cleanliness and a polish on top if you are looking for that shiny topcoat. It is extremely low maintenance and easy to clean.

Stainless steel is often the first choice of steel for hospitality industries such as kitchens and in hospitals where cleanliness is key. It is also selected for railway applications as it does not need protective paint coatings, reducing maintenance costs. 

Stainless Steel Products

At Fastec, we sell pre-assembled stainless steel handrail posts, to help create a durable, framed glass balustrade. Our handrail posts allow for quick installation of complex and attractive stainless steel railings and balustrades. We currently supply them varies grades depending on your projects needs.

Our wide range of mirror polished connectors is perfect for when you need a job with that bit of extra sparkle! Our range of stainless steel, mirror polished fittings and accessories give a high-class, high-quality finish. Portraying the pinnacle of luxury our Mirror Finish components give your installation that Hollywood style. 

We also offer a wide range of stainless steel glass clamps, designed for indoor (G304) and outdoor use (G2205). They can be used to create a perfect glass balustrade solution in a range of environments such as offices, homes and for garden landscaping projects.

To view all our stainless steel and glass range, click here.

Our range of versatile fittings provide all the options that you will need to complete even the most complex system.

For more details, contact our friendly team on 01274 474330 or alternatively drop us an email at SALES@FASTECHANDRAILS.CO.UK