Is your grade of metal plate making the grade for your intended usage? Review some of the most commonly used grades of aluminum, steel, and stainless steel plate in the market today and what makes them an ideal fit for different applications.
Aluminum is the most widely used non-ferrous metal and is available in a wide selection of alloys and tempers. Lightweight and corrosion resistant with the ability to be easily formed, aluminum can help reduce costs and improve product performance in many different applications. The most commonly used grades of aluminum plate include:
Alloyed with 2.5% magnesium, this grade offers good corrosion resistance, workability, weldability, and strength. Tensile strength ranges 31-44 KSI.
Alloyed with 1.0% magnesium and .6% silicon, this grade offers good formability, weldability, and corrosion resistance. Typically used for engineering and structural applications, 6061 has tensile strength in the range of 20-42 KSI.
Stainless Steel Plate
Stainless steel is an alloy made from two or more separate elements alloyed together. The primary alloying element of stainless steel is the metal iron (with a small amount of added carbon). The addition of metal chromium to stainless steel is what gives it a high level of rust-resisting properties, This helps stainless steel become highly resistant to corrosion; an important factor due in large part to the varying types of environments in which the end products are used. The most commonly used grades of stainless steel plate include:
The most widely used of all stainless and heat resisting steels, 304 offers good corrosion resistance to many chemical corrodents as well as industrial atmospheres. It offers good formability and can be readily welded by all common methods.
The extra low carbon variation 304L avoids harmful carbide precipitation due to welding. It features the same corrosion resistance as 304, but with slightly lower mechanical properties.
When compared to 304, 316 offers better corrosion resistance and pitting resistance, as well as higher strength at elevated temperatures.
316 is also available in a low carbon variation, 316L, which avoids carbide precipitation due to welding. It offers the same level of corrosion resistance as 316.
Steel contains up to 1% carbon with smaller quantities of other elements. It may contain alloying elements such as phosphorus, sulfur, or copper, as well as silicon and manganese added for deoxidation. Grades of carbon steel may be considered low, medium, or high carbon, where grades with greater carbon content tend to have greater strength and hardness. Properties of carbon depend on how product is processed, for example through heat treatment or coating. The most commonly used steel plate grades include:
A structural quality carbon steel, A36 is used in welded, bolted, or riveted construction of bridges and buildings, as well as general structural purposes.
Engineering with a minimum yield point of 36 KSI, A36 steel plate can be used to design lighter weight structures and equipment while providing good weldability.
1008/1010 steel plate contains a maximum of .13 carbon to provide a ductile plate that is suitable for forming in any direction with excellent weldability.
Classified as a medium carbon steel plate, 1045 is silicon killed with higher carbon content for greater strength. In the lighter and medium thicknesses, heat treatment to steel plate 1045 will provide higher strength. Machinability is good, forming and welding opportunities limited.