Stainless Steel Bar

Versatile, strong, and corrosion resistant, stainless steel is the material of choice for many applications.

Stainless steel bar stock is a fundamental building block for countless industries in the UK. Its inherent strength, corrosion resistance, and aesthetic appeal make it a popular choice for applications ranging from architectural accents to critical medical equipment. RIghton Blackburns stock a wide range of stainless steel bar in a range of grades and tempers for rapid delivery.

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Properties of Stainless Steel Bar

The allure of stainless steel bar stems from its impressive combination of desirable characteristics:

Corrosion Resistance

The defining feature of stainless steel is its ability to resist rust and corrosion while retaining great mechanical properties. This is primarily due to the presence of chromium, which forms a passive oxide layer on the surface, hindering further oxidation.

These properties collectively make stainless steel bar a versatile and reliable material for a vast array of projects.

Bar Shapes

Stainless steel bar is available in various cross-sectional shapes, each suited to specific applications:

  • Square Bar: Square bars offer a good balance between strength and ease of fabrication. They are commonly used for structural applications like railings, gates, and machinery components. Their square corners provide a secure grip when welding or joining with other materials.

  • Flat Bar: Also known as flat stock, flat bars provide a wide, flat surface area. They are often used for applications requiring a decorative element, such as trim work, architectural accents, and appliance parts. Additionally, their flat profile makes them suitable for applications requiring good surface contact, such as heat exchangers.

  • Round Bar: Round bars offer a high strength-to-weight ratio and are easy to machine. Their symmetrical shape makes them ideal for applications involving shafts, axles, pins, and other rotating or sliding components.

  • Hexagon Bar: Highly versatile for a range of engineering applications, especially for repetitively turned parts or fasteners such as nuts and bolts.

The choice of bar shape depends on the specific requirements of the project, considering factors like load distribution, aesthetics, and ease of machining.

Common Stainless Steel Grades

The UK market utilises a wide range of stainless steel grades, each formulated with specific properties to cater to diverse applications. Here's a breakdown of some of the most commonly encountered grades:

  • Grade 304: This is the most widely used stainless steel grade globally and is readily available in the UK. It offers excellent corrosion resistance, good formability, and weldability. Applications include kitchenware, architectural panels, sinks, and automotive trim. We also stock the low-carbon version 304L, which has improved resistance to corrosion in some environments, especially intergranular corrosion which is likely to occur at higher temperatures.

  • Grade 316: A molybdenum-bearing variant of 304, grade 316 provides enhanced corrosion resistance, particularly in chloride-rich environments. This makes it ideal for marine applications, chemical processing equipment, and applications involving exposure to salt water. Again, Righton Blackburns stock the 316L low-carbon grade, which is better suited for

  • Grade 430: A ferritic grade known for its affordability and good magnetic properties. While not as corrosion resistant as 304 or 316, it finds use in applications requiring decorative elements or mild corrosion resistance, such as appliance parts and trim.

  • Grade 17-4: A high-performance precipitation-hardening stainless steel known for its exceptional strength and capabilities at high temperatures. It is used in demanding applications like aerospace components and high-performance fasteners.

It's important to consult with a qualified steel supplier to select the most appropriate grade for your specific needs. Factors like the intended environment, required strength, and budget will influence the optimal choice.

Applications of Stainless Steel Bar

Stainless steel bar finds application across various sectors in the UK, including:

  • Construction: Stainless steel bars contribute to the visual appeal and structural integrity of buildings. They are used for architectural panels, railings, balconies, and cladding.

  • Food and Beverage Industry: Due to its hygiene and cleanability, stainless steel bar is a preferred material for food.

  • Chemical and Pharmaceutical Industry: As with the food industry, the corrosion resistant and hygiene capabilities of of stainless steel makes it often the material of choice for laboratory furniture, equipment, and chemical transportation containers.

  • Marine and Maritime: The corrosion resistant nature of stainless steel means it is in high demand for boat fittings and coastal architectural features.

  • Fasteners & Fittings: Where corrosion resistance is demanded beyond what can be offered by galvanised steel, stainless steel becomes the material of choice in many application. This is especially the case in the aerospace industry, where reliability can’t be compromised.

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Stainless steel block