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The use of corrosion-resistant fasteners can mitigate environmental impact and maintenance costs in the manufacturing industry.
FREMONT, CA: Each year, corroded machinery, buildings, and devices cost American industry an estimated $7 billion, says a recent report. Corrosion is an expensive problem. It results in the degradation of material to the point where it is no longer mechanically or structurally fit for its usage. Corrosion presents a formidable challenge. It affects products and almost all infrastructure through increased maintenance, shorter product lifecycles, end-of-life management, and utilization of more resources over a lifetime. But by recognizing its root causes, effective measures can be taken to prevent and combat it. Here is more about it.
Stainless steel fasteners are used in corrosive environments for years, including oil and gas, water treatment, chemical processing, marine, and coastal. In recent times, stainless steel materials predominantly have become more readily available, largely due to low-cost, high-volume manufacturers. However, interest in stainless steel and high-grade alloy fasteners has mounted. The correct application provides improved product performance, reduced maintenance, and can assist in maximizing the product life cycle. Engineers are starting to give more consideration to an ever-increasing range of fastener products and material options available in an attempt to design robust and long-term, cost-effective products and infrastructure.
One of the major limitations accepted by engineers when considering stainless steel materials is less mechanical ability than high-tensile carbon steel. If a combination of strength and corrosion resistance is needed, engineers often resort to high-tensile carbon steel with a protective coating. However, high-tensile carbon steel presents the stress of finding a coating suitable for the application and the associated performance, quality, and lifespan considerations for the coating. High-tensile carbon steels are also prone to hydrogen embrittlement during the manufacturing process. Engineers often show concerns regarding this risk, and careful consideration is given during their production.
By eliding the limitations of strength in stainless steel materials, these fasteners open up new opportunities for design engineers that need a combination of high mechanical performance and corrosion resistance. Applications for these stainless steel fasteners include treatment plants, aerospace, turbines, steel construction, offshore equipment, high-end electric bikes, high-pressure applications, fueling systems, and semiconductor manufacturing device. Many more applications may follow to the advantage of the owners and users of products and infrastructure and the whole planet with the ability for the more sustainable use of material resources.
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