When putting together a DIY project, you’ll want to take proper care of everything down to the smallest detail. Screws and fasteners are an essential part of hardware assembly, and stainless steel fasteners are the most preferred. There are many reasons for this, but the one that immediately stands out to fastener suppliers is its anti-corrosive properties. If you’re living in a more humid area of Australia where rust is a rampant problem, then they will ensure your hardware holds together.
In this article, we present a quick guide to stainless steel fasteners, how to identify their different grades and types and where to use them, and their various advantages.
HOW ARE STAINLESS STEEL FASTENERS MADE?
Stainless steel fasteners are made of low-carbon alloys composed of nickel and molybdenum with at least 10% chromium. Upon oxidation from the open air, a thin layer of chromium oxide is formed on the surface of the fastener, thereby guarding it against corrosion from other elements. While stainless steel is not completely free from some surface rust, the small amounts that form over time will not penetrate the steel. So with our Pinnacle fasteners, you can guarantee integrity and longevity for many years to come.
DIFFERENT GRADES OF STAINLESS STEEL FASTENERS
Stainless steel grades are classified by the ratios of carbon, nickel, molybdenum and chromium in their composition, which determines their properties like temperature and chemical resistance. The most common grades you will see among fastener suppliers are 304 and 316 stainless steel. Choosing between them depends on the project and the environment you live in.
SS 304 (18-20% chromium, 8-12% nickel) is the most commonly available grade of stainless steel fasteners. You’ll find them used in everything from household and kitchen equipment to automobiles, industrial and residential pipes, and storage tanks. They’re also a great option for locks and other security solutions, such as our Pinnacle Security Bolt M6 – 1X range of fasteners. Their versatility and reliability comes from their higher chromium content that protects against the most common kinds of corrosion.
SS 316 (16-18% chromium, 10-14% nickel, 2-3% molybdenum) is sometimes informally referred to as ‘marine grade’ stainless steel. Because of the significant increase in the molybdenum ratio, this grade is more heat resistant and can withstand corrosion from mineral salts. It is slightly more expensive than grade 304 fasteners, but comes with the added benefit of chemical resistance. Fastener suppliers recommend grade 316 for outdoor applications, especially marine hardware, such as our Marine Grade Wing Nut range.
THE BENEFITS OF STAINLESS STEEL FASTENERS
Aside from their sleek finish, fastener suppliers will recommend stainless steel fasteners for their durability and resistance to the elements. The chromium oxide layer on the outside of the fasteners is capable of self-repairing from minor scratches and scrapes, extending their long life. They are highly versatile and can be used in a variety of different applications, depending on the grade of stainless steel you choose.
You’ll want to use SS 316 fasteners such as our Pinnacle M10 bolts range or flat washers if you’re working in an environment with high saline content, such as a swimming pool or marine hardware. For everyday industrial applications and household DIY projects, the Security Screw 10G range of SS 304 fasteners is your best friend.
FIND THE STAINLESS STEEL FASTENERS YOU NEED AT PINNACLE HARDWARE
If you’re looking to put together a hardware project that’s high on aesthetics and long-lasting even in harsh environments, look no further than Pinnacle Hardware fastener suppliers. Our bolts, nuts, and screws are made from the highest quality stainless steel that is durable and all-weather reliable. Browse through our collection on our website, or find them at your local Bunnings Warehouse.