Stainless or Carbon Steel?

Selecting a Wire Basket Base Material

Selecting a base material for a custom wire basket design is a trade-off between different material characteristics: weight versus strength, cost versus corrosion resistance, etc. We strive to optimize these trade-offs by thoroughly understanding each material’s strengths and weaknesses to create the best balance for each application. Below is an overview of the design characteristics for some of the materials we typically use.

These are our most commonly used materials. Other options are available.

  • Carbon Steel
    (also called Mild Steel)
  • 304
    Stainless Steel
  • 316
    Stainless Steel
  • 330 Stainless Steel
    (and other high Nickel-content Alloys)
Strong and inexpensive, readily available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, and easy to form and weld. Very limited corrosion resistance in natural finish. It can be plated or powder coated for some additional corrosion protection but is generally not recommended for wet locations or ultrasonic or aqueous cleaning applications. Carbon steel is a great choice for manual solvent cleaning, oil dipping, and indoor material handling applications.
The most common of the industrial stainless steel grades. It’s readily available in a wide variety of shapes and sizes, relatively easy to form and weld. Good high temperature strength to 1200°F. Good corrosion resistance in wet and mildly caustic environments. Can be powder coated for added part protection. Electropolishing is recommended for all ultrasonic applications.
Slightly stronger, better corrosion resistance and better high temperature strength than 304 stainless. Available in most shapes. Still relatively easy to form and weld. Good high temperature strength to 1600°F. Good corrosion resistance in salt water and acidic and alkaline environments. Can be powder coated for added part protection. Electropolishing is recommended for all ultrasonic applications.
Better high temperature strength than 304 and 316 stainless. Limited selection of shapes available. Higher nickel content makes it more difficult to form and weld. Good high temperature strength to 2200°F. Good corrosion resistance in acidic and alkaline environments.

Other materials

An unlimited number of other metals are available with enhanced properties for greater strength, lighter weight, better corrosion resistance, etc.

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