The issues that appear when improperly handling stainless steel

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ERW steel tubes West MidlandsProducing components using stainless steel is an excellent choice. It aids you with product longevity and durability. This is due to the natural oxide layer that exists on the steel. Yet, metallurgic changes, corrosion, and warping can happen if you are not careful.

You have to use the best practices here. Metalworkers lacking experience with stainless steel need to pay close attention to the right processes and handling methods. This is to safeguard the material’s durability and hold the final product in-spec.

In this post we will be going over the problems that can occur when you improperly handle stainless steel. In addition, we will discuss what you can do to overcome them. Then if you want the finest ERW steel tubes West Midlands businesses can ask for, you can order from us.

Metallurgic changes

Firstly, there are metallurgic changes. These happen because stainless steel comes with a lower thermal diffusivity than most metals. Due to this fact, the Heat Affected Zone (HAZ) during the thermal cutting or welding is greater. It can lead to a grade alteration or metal weakening.

During metal cutting, there are certain considerations you must keep in mind regarding the HAZ. Firstly, manual cutting or shearing don’t generate a HAZ. This is because they don’t overheat the sheet metal.

Laser cutting has the lowest HAZ of the thermal cutting techniques. This is because it limits heat to a relatively compact area. Since a plasma pulse is wider than a laser wave, it creates an immediate HAZ. Higher currents lead to quicker cutting, lowering exposure time and the HAZ’s width. On the other hand, oxyacetylene cutting has the widest HAZ. It happens because of the wide flames, sluggish motion, and extreme fire.

Weld decay

Something else you must be aware of with metallurgic changes is weld decay. Welding can result in chromium depletion in your base metal around the weld due to the intense heat. It can mean the area is more vulnerable to corrosion.

To help, you can use a post-weld high-temperature quench and anneal to redissolve the chromium at the grain boundaries. This will halt the formation of chromium carbide during cooling. To prevent carbide forming, you should use stainless steel that is low in carbon.


The second issue that pops up is distortion. Thanks to the high expansion rate and lacklustre thermal conductivity, the metal is vulnerable to it during welding.

What you need to do is use the lowest allowable amperage without undermining weld efficiency. You can regulate temperatures at the interpass. Plus, you should use a copper backing plate, clamping jigs, or regulated tack welding. Come to us if you desire the greatest ERW steel tubes West Midlands has.

Surface contaminants

The final issue that we will talk about is the introduction of surface contaminants. This can happen when stainless steel encounters iron fittings and similar pollutants. In addition, the exterior could become contaminated by grease on tools and hands. The contamination can lead to localised corrosion.

To prevent surface contamination, use a stainless steel deburring, mixing, and grinding abrasive. You should keep steel abrasives away from others you use on multiple metals as well. Make certain the steel stays away from carbon steel and other metals. Keep your steel in its packaging away from external elements for as long as possible. Lastly, remove every transport adhesive. They will harden and bring about crevice corrosion on the job site.

We look after our customers with the best ERW steel tubes in the West Midlands

At Union Steel Tubes, we make sure that every customer receives first rate tubing merchandise. Our team likes to offer a personal and friendly service too. Whatever your needs are, we will accommodate them. Furthermore, if you have any queries, we will attend to them as best we can.

So, if you desire the finest ERW steel tubes West Midlands has, please let us know. We will look after you before, during, and after purchase.