What level of corrosion resistance do I need, and what type?
Consider water ingress, exposure to changing weather conditions, potential for exposure to chemicals, chlorides and acids
What level of mechanical strength do I need?
The overall strength of stainless steel products often has an inverse relationship to its corrosion resistance, so getting the balance right is important
- Be aware that the strongest stainless alloys available may be unsuitable for structural use in 95% of applications and environments
Will I need to weld or work the stainless steel?
Some alloys are more suitable to welding, or more easily workable, than others
- Typically, austenitic steels will be more weldable than most other alloys, but there are exceptions depending on the types of stainless steel finishes and treatments you may require
What level of heat resistance do I need?
Again, extremely heat-resistant alloys may develop significantly increased susceptibility to corrosion at those higher temperature
- You may actually be better off with a lower grade of heat resistance in most non-specialised environments or installations
What level of magnetic response do I need?
Certain types of equipment, for example medical machinery, can be extremely sensitive to even low-level magnetic properties, and it’s important to source the right type of stainless steel bars and rods for use in these critical environments
How much am I looking to spend, both now and in the future?
Like all metals and alloys, stainless steel rods and bars have a base cost depending on their innate quality, their expected performance against certain environmental hazards, and their predicted life cycle when used in appropriate circumstances
- Generally speaking, you get what you pay for with stainless steel rods and bars - but at what point the value balance tips for you will depend entirely on the type of application you’re using the product in, and the expectations you have for the product