If you’re new to the world of stainless steel machining, you’re forgiven for feeling lost when reading or talking about the technical details. Stainless machining is a precise art and science. Here are five things you need to know about stainless steel machining.

There Are Two Common Types of Stainless Steel – 304 and 316

While stainless steel is simply that to most people, the term encompasses various grades of steel, each of which has a slightly different alloy composition. One grade may have more chromium (the minimum for a type of steel to be considered “stainless” is 10.5%) than another, and additional ingredients may be included, too.

The two most common grades are 304 and 316. The difference between them is the presence of the above-mentioned molybdenum in 316-grade steel, which 304 steel doesn’t have. This gives the 316 steel much more corrosion resistance against chloride solutions such as those found in heavy-duty industrial processing environments and chemical solvents. It also helps to better protect against salty environments like those at sea or along the coast.

Stainless Steel Machining is All About the Lubrication

Lubrication and cooling are the two most important things to keep in mind when doing stainless machining. Without sticking to the best practices of lubrication and cooling, your tools will break faster, the item you’re machining can turn into an expensive lump of useless steel, and, in general, you’re going to have a lot of problems. You have to know when to use mineral oils, and when to use water soluble emulsifiable ones.

Generally speaking, emulsifiable oils provide better cooling than mineral oils, but mineral oils are better for heavy-duty machining operations with heavy loads operating at slower speed. Emulsifiable oils do better for machining operations at higher speeds.

The Tools Make or Break the Whole Operation

With the extreme loads, high speeds, and sheer power that is the foundation of stainless machining, the tools we use can help or hinder our work – in many cases, they either make it or break it. In stainless steel machining, high-speed steel (HSS) and carbide tools are used in different situations. Each project is unique, which is why trials of different types of tools are necessary to find the best configuration for different jobs.

We know our way around stainless steel machining – we at Roberson Machining Company have been doing it and providing our regular clients and customers with great work since 2002. That’s 16 years of satisfied customers, and we hope to make you one of them! So go ahead and get in touch to discuss how we can help you by providing you with superior-quality stainless steel machining services. You can find our phone number at the top of the page, or you can contact us through our online form by clicking on “Contact” in the top right-hand side of the page. We hope to hear from you soon!