303 Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a low-carbon iron alloy consisting of at least 10.5% chromium, allowing the metal to form a self-healing chromium-oxide film that grants excellent corrosion resistance and durability. Stainless steel is available in a diverse range of alloys, meaning it can be adapted to fit nearly any application. One of the many stainless steel alloys available is 303 stainless steel.
303 stainless steel comes from the austenitic family, meaning it is a metallic, non-magnetic material consisting of chromium, nickel, and other added elements. Austenitic steels are known for their toughness, high ductility, and many other beneficial properties.
At Bergsen Metals, we maintain a vast inventory of 303 stainless steel, including hex bars, square bars, and rolled flat bars. Our 303 stainless steel has high machinability due to its higher amount of sulfur and phosphorus, making it ideal for various applications.
There are several key features of type 303 stainless steel that make it beneficial for use in many applications. These features include:
Like other grades of stainless steel, 303 stainless steel provides sufficient corrosion resistance in mild environments. However, it has lower corrosion resistance than some other grades of stainless steel due to its added sulfur component.
303 stainless steel has good oxidation resistance in environments up to 760 °C. While it can hold up in temperatures as high as 870 °C, it’s not advisable to use it in these conditions due to the risk of carbide precipitation when continuously used at temperatures between 420-860 °C.
The high machinability of 303 stainless steel makes it ideal for fabricating a wide range of parts. To ensure that fabrication is performed properly using this material, it’s important to use only tools intended for use with stainless steel. You should also ensure that all work surfaces and tools are clean before beginning the fabrication process. Taking the proper steps will prevent any potential cross-contamination with less corrosion-resistant metals that leave parts vulnerable to discoloration.
303 stainless steel isn’t ideal for use in welding applications due to its sulfur content. If welding is required, it is recommended to use electrodes or filler rods made with 308L and 309 stainless steel materials, and all welds must be annealed for maximum corrosion resistance.
Forms of 303 Stainless Steel
There are multiple forms of 303 stainless steel that you can use, depending on the application. These include:
Round Bars and Rods
303 stainless steel rods and round bars are often used in applications requiring heavy machining to fabricate parts. They are often used in parts such as screws, gears, nuts and bolts, electrical switchgear components, and aircraft fittings.
Hex Bars and Rods
303 stainless steel hex bars and rods enable faster machining and lower production costs. Although they have less corrosion resistance than other grades of stainless steel, 303 stainless steel hex bars and rods offer excellent toughness.
Square bars made with 303 stainless steel can resist scaling at up to 871 °C. Compared to conventional stainless steel square bars, the sulfur component helps improve turning breakup while simultaneously reducing cutting tool drag.
For parts that require sufficient corrosion resistance and need to be machined, ground, or polished, 303 stainless steel flat bars are useful for many applications.
Applications of 303 Stainless Steel
303 stainless steel tube/bar/sheet materials are used in many applications to fabricate a wide range of parts, including:
- Nut and bolts
- Electrical switchgear components
- Aircraft fittings
Generally, 303 stainless steel is useful for nearly any component requiring adequate machinability along with durability, heat resistance, and corrosion resistance in mild environments.
303 Stainless Steel from Bergsen Metals
303 stainless steel offers many benefits and comes in a range of forms to suit the needs of various applications. At Bergsen Metals, we offer a full inventory of 303 stainless steel products to meet the requirements of nearly any project.