Before you decide on what type of steel to use for your hinges, read these 4 benefits of choosing stainless over other types of metal.
There are significant long-lasting benefits to using stainless steel for hinges over other options. Stainless steel hinges have a significantly higher resistance to rust (oxidation) and corrosion against many man-made and natural environments.
Aside from having a shiny, sleek surface, stainless steel offers tremendous strength and has revolutionized nearly every type of industry including transportation, medicine, the food industry, and most importantly, construction. Let’s take a closer look at some of the most common applications we see.
Benefit #1 – Corrosion Resistance
Stainless steel hinges are often the product of choice selected in marine applications because it is highly resistant to rust; much more so than galvanized steel, bronze or brass. While pitting and crevice corrosion will likely develop over time on the surface of a stainless steel hinge, the material is still far superior to other options.
Unlike traditional rusting with other metals, stainless steel corrosion tends to be somewhat random and highly localized. Pits (tiny holes) do have the potential of penetrating substantial thickness, and over time, the pits can cause cracks and leaks.
The unpredicted corrosion failure of stainless steel had long been an unsolved mystery. However, after extensive research it was found that some parts of the molten steel ingot cooled at a different rate than the remainder of the product. It is in these locations where significantly less chromium can be found. It is now known that these tiny areas are actually not stainless due to the missing chromium.
Even though stainless steels all have a high level of resistance to rust and corrosion, the lower alloy grades are known to have increased corrosion resistance in atmospheric conditions. Alternatively, high alloy grades are known to resist corrosion in most alkaline and acid solutions, along with chloride environments even at extreme elevated pressures and temperatures.
Benefit #2 – Aesthetic Appeal
Hinges are not always placed inside doors or products where they are invisible to the user. Sometimes they are placed front and center where everyone sees them, and in these cases good aesthetics are important to the manufacturer.
Stainless steel hinges are available with a huge variety of surface finishes. They offer an aesthetically pleasing appearance of high quality and it is easy to maintain the high level of shine. In addition, stainless steel is easy to clean, making it the first choice in hinges for pharmaceutical, food, kitchens and hospital use. Its durability and low maintenance make stainless steel an affordable choice when comparing lifecycle costs. Click here to learn more about the different types of available finishes.
Benefit #3 – Low and High Temperature Resistance
Stainless steel hinges offer an easy solution for applications that require resistance to low or high temperatures. Some graded stainless steel is known to resist scaling while maintaining its high durable strength even at extremely high temperatures. Other varieties of stainless steel show exceptional toughness at low temperatures ranging to cryogenic levels.
Benefit #4 – Weight to Strength Advantage
Stainless steel has a significant weight to strength advantage. This provides the opportunity to use the material in a much thinner thickness than conventional graded metals. This often results in generating a significant cost savings. In addition, its ease of fabrication is often a result of modern day steel crafting techniques. Stainless steel can be fabricated, machined, cut, formed or welded just as readily as most traditional steels.
Although stainless steel hinges tend to have a higher upfront cost than other options, it still offers a highly appealing lifecycle cost benefit over all of the other available alternatives including carbon steels. These hinges are fabricated in a variety of styles, shapes and designs to meet the demands of many industries.
If you would like to learn more about whether or not stainless is the best option for your next hinge order, contact us today and one of our helpful sales engineers will be happy to review your product needs and provide you with a free quote.