Stainless Steel Flats
General information on stainless steel flats
Stainless Steels are divided into five main families: ferritic, austenitic, martensitic, precipitation hardening and duplex steel. Within these families approximately 250 different grades of stainless steel exist. The particular characteristics of any given stainless product depend on its relative family and grade but also on the materials unique chemical composition. Chemical compositions can be altered to change the mechanical, physical, thermal and anti-corrosive qualities of a stainless product. This is usually made dependant on the end use of the product.
Due to their versatile nature flats made from stainless steel find application in a number of different fields ranging from construction to household applications.
How are stainless steel flats manufactured?
To create SS flat bars, primary materials including iron ore and scrap metal are molten in a blast or electric arc furnace. Where a mixture of iron ore, coal, coke, natural gas, oil and scrap metals is molten at approximately 1500°celsius.
Once heated, the chemical composition of the melt is analysed and can - depending on specific requirements/application of the end product - be manipulated. By adding Nickel for example the toughness of a stainless flat bar can be enhanced. The absence of nickel paired with lower carbon contents causes stainless flats to be less resistant to corrosion, however fosters other favourable characteristics such as being more weldable.
Once chemicals to evoke desirable characteristics have been added, the material is ready to be cast. The continuous mold casting process creates solid ingots which are cut and consequently referred to as slabs. Slabs are cooled for further processing such as annealing and descaling. The material is then reheated in preparation for hot rolling. Hot rolling mills help shape slabs into flat bars. In a last step the almost finished product can be subjected to finishing surface treatments.
Which industries utilise stainless steel flats in their manufacture?
The fact that flat bars are easily manipulated make them very popular in frame construction as well as furniture and industrial artwork. The good formability of SS flats have made them popular across a wide variety of industries, particularly:
- Construction – building support
- Interior and exterior design
- Industrial artwork - statues
- Furniture construction
- Household appliances
What are the benefits of stainless steel flats?
Stainless steel flats display all benefits also associated with other stainless products. Stainless flats are generally corrosion resistant and can therefore withstand volatile weather as well as extreme changes in temperature. Hence stainless flats are well-suited for both outdoor and indoor application. Flats made from stainless steel are very durable and known to have a long lifecycle if the right grade is selected.
Due to their fire resistance and unique design appeal stainless steel flats are commonplace in architectural applications. The silvery shimmer iconic to stainless materials means SS flats are often used in cladding but also indoors as handrails or in the kitchen.
The smooth surface finish of stainless flats hinders dirt from accumulating on the material surface. This cleanliness keeps maintenance costs at a minimum making stainless steel generally very cost effective. Additionally, like most steels, stainless flats are fully recyclable and therefore particularly friendly for the environment.
Which stainless steel flats can you purchase in the Kloeckner online shop?
Stainless steel flats which are sometimes also referred to steel flats, flat bars or SS flats can be found in the Kloeckner online shop in the quality alloy 304 or 316. Flats can be supplied descaled.