What is stainless steel? | Schlüter-Systems

What is stainless steel?

"Stainless steel" is a generic term that describes over 160 types of alloy steels, which are suitable for a wide range of applications with their different compositions. 

Stainless steel is not necessarily rust free and needs to be maintained. When chromium is added to the alloy, it forms a dense, protective passivation layer on the steel surface in a thickness of about 1000th of a millimetre. Even though this layer is very thin, it is capable of consistently renewing itself after mechanical damage, which means that this steel will not rust during normal use. This presumes that the protective layer will not be damaged permanently (e.g. by external corrosion or certain chemicals such as hydrochloric acid). Such damage can occur in areas with chemical stresses (such as outdoor areas near the sea, or with high industrial air pollution levels), in the food industry, or in swimming pools. In those applications, the use of V4A steel (material no. 1.4404 = AISI 316L) is recommended instead of conventional V2A stainless steel (material no. 1.4301 = AISI 304), since this material has better corrosion resistance for those special requirements. 

The Sales department and the sales representatives of Schlüter-Systems are able to provide expert support for specifiers and installers if there are uncertainties about the correct material choice.

  • The official abbreviated term for material no. 1.4301 according to DIN EN 10088 is X5CrNi18-10.
  • The official abbreviated term for material no. 1.4404 according to DIN EN 10088 is X2CrNiMo17-12-2.
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Beveridge Lane, Coalville,
Leicestershire, LE67 1TE
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