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 /  Using Stainless Steel

All about stainless steel fabrication

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Stainless steel has many uses in manufacturing thanks to its strength, resistance to corrosion and ease of use.

The metal is easily fabricated and has an attractive finish and is widely used in a range of industries including construction, automotive, medical and food processing.

There are more than 150 grades of the metal but around 15 are generally used in everyday applications.

Despite its relatively high strength, the material is malleable enough to be folded, machined, welded and finished in a wide variety of textures.

Modern fabrication technology allows the stainless steel to be cut, welded and processed as quickly and efficiently as other non-ferrous metals.

But, to ensure high-quality fabrication and to avoid any cross-contamination, it is important that workshops maintain separate processing facilities for ferrous and non-ferrous materials.

A quality steel fabricator must possess the technology, equipment and processes to produce quality products with ease.

Advantages of using stainless steel

It is a metal can be fabricated using conventional techniques and, despite a generally higher cost, the benefits make this the most dependable metal for many fabrications.

The main advantages are:

  • 100% recyclable: The material is fully recyclable and does not produce toxic run-off, making it a more environmentally-friendly choice.
  • Strength-to-weight benefit: High strength duplex grades provide added strength to thinner material, providing a competitive advantage over other grades.
  • Corrosion resistance: The addition of Chromium adds resistance to corrosion, fire and heat, with different grades for different environments.
  • Easy maintenance: Finished products are long-lasting and require relatively little maintenance.

Industrial applications

Stainless steel components are commonly used in food processing industries, the medical sector and for other hygiene-conscious products.

High chromium grades are also extremely valuable for use in catering equipment, heating and ventilation systems, and the manufacture of products such as boilers, heaters and heat exchangers.

Common fabrication projects at KMF include outdoor forecourt and vending machinery and conveyor systems for the food processing and packaging industries.

Various types of finishes

The finish is one of the most important processes in handling this metal. KMF has the expertise and equipment to achieve many types of finishes.

  • Bead blasted: Bead blasting is used to remove deposits from the surface with fine glass beads applied at high pressure, resulting in a low-reflective matte surface. This finishing method removes any lines or grooves and is regularly used in food processing and medical equipment manufacturer for a clean, hygienic product.
  • Brushed: A brushed finish is achieved with deburring belts, of various grit levels. This distinctive finish maintains some brightness but loses any mirror reflection. The process may reduce corrosion resistance but offers strong decorative appeal.
  • Passivated: Passivation involves treating or coating sheet metal to minimise the chemical reactivity of its surface. Passivation uses an acid solution to eliminate surface contamination and is often used alongside CNC machining services.
  • Mirror: Mirror finishes are achieved by extensive polishing with finer abrasives followed by comprehensive buffing. The finish is highly reflective and removes all welding marks or surface damage. It enhances the appearance and allows easy cleaning. (Read more on grades and finishes here.)

Purpose-built facilities

KMF Group delivers fabrication services in grades 304 and 316. Our customers benefit from separate processing of ferrous and non-ferrous materials through KMF Special Products, a purpose-built facility dedicated to stainless steel fabrication. Our manufacturing facility also houses its own laser cutting cell, a dedicated bending department, welding bays and a glass bead blasting cabinet.

By combining the accumulated experience of metal fabrication with dedicated technology and constant innovation, we can design, fabricate and provide a variety of processing solutions that enhance product functionality, improve time-to-market and achieve cost efficiencies.

If you have a question or enquiry about our services please get in touch.

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