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Stainless Steel

"Under Construction"

    Tubes  |  Types of Stainless 

Stainless Steels are poor conductors of electricity, and poor conductors of heat.

Stainless Lid / End Cap

This is the Lid I use. It is made by Tri-Clover. I also use it for the bottom of my container. These are available in different sizes. I have used the 3 inch and 4 inch.

Had to turn an O-ring groove to fit the size of my tube.



  Available from Hamby Dairy Supply

Stainless Tubes

I use 304L stainless because it fits my budget. 316 is said to be the best, at 4 times the cost. My tubes are 0.065 inches thick.

VerociousMotorSports  (tubes)
 Speedy Metals (tubes & plates)
 OnLineMetals (tubes & plates)
  McMaster Carr

Some Types of Stainless


  • 200 Series—austenitic chromium-nickel-manganese alloys
    • Type 201—austenitic that is hardenable through cold working
    • Type 202—austenitic general purpose stainless steel
  • 300 Series—austenitic chromium-nickel alloys
    • Type 301—highly ductile, for formed products. Also hardens rapidly during mechanical working. Good weldability. Better wear resistance and fatigue strength than 304.
    • Type 302—same corrosion resistance as 304, with slightly higher strength due to additional carbon.
    • Type 303—easier machining version of 304 via addition of sulfur and phosphorus. Also referred to as "A1" in accordance with ISO 3506.
    • Type 304—the most common grade; the classic 18/8 stainless steel. Also referred to as "A2" in accordance with ISO 3506.
    • Type 304L—the Low Carbon grade but specially modified for welding.
    • Type 309—better temperature resistance than 304
    • Type 316—the second most common grade (after 304); for food and surgical stainless steel uses; alloy addition of molybdenum prevents specific forms of corrosion. 316 steel is used in the manufacture and handling of food and pharmaceutical products where it is often required in order to minimize metallic contamination. It is also known as marine grade stainless steel due to its increased resistance to chloride corrosion compared to type 304. SS316 is often used for building nuclear reprocessing plants. Most watches that are made of stainless steel are made of Type 316L; Rolex is an exception in that they use Type 904L. Also referred to as "A4" in accordance with ISO 3506. 316Ti (which includes titanium for heat resistance) is used in flexible chimney liners, and is able to withstand temperatures up to 2000 degrees Fahrenheit, the hottest possible temperature of a chimney fire.
    • Type 317 --- Alloy 317LMN and 317L are molybdenum-bearing austenitic stainless steels with greatly increased resistance to chemical attack as compared to the conventional chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steels such as Alloy 304. In addition, 317LMN and 317L alloys offer higher creep, stress-to-rupture, and tensile strengths at elevated temperatures than conventional stainless steels. All are low carbon or "L" grades to provide resistance to sensitization during welding and other thermal processes. The "M" and "N" designations indicate that the compositions contain increased levels of molybdenum and nitrogen respectively. The combination of molybdenum and nitrogen is particularly effective in enhancing resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion, especially in process streams containing acids, chlorides, and sulfur compounds at elevated temperatures. Nitrogen also serves to increase the strength of these alloys. Both alloys are intended for severe service conditions such as flue gas desulfurization (FGD) systems.  more information
    • Type 321—similar to 304 but lower risk of weld decay due to addition of titanium. See also 347 with addition of niobium for desensitization during welding.
  • 400 Series—ferritic and martensitic chromium alloys
    • Type 405—a ferritic especially made for welding applications
    • Type 408—heat-resistant; poor corrosion resistance; 11% chromium, 8% nickel.
    • Type 409—cheapest type; used for automobile exhausts; ferritic (iron/chromium only).
    • Type 410—martensitic (high-strength iron/chromium). Wear-resistant, but less corrosion-resistant.
    • Type 416—easy to machine due to additional sulfur
    • Type 420—Cutlery Grade martensitic; similar to the Brearley's original rustless steel. Excellent polishability.
    • Type 430—decorative, e.g., for automotive trim; ferritic. Good formability, but with reduced temperature and corrosion resistance.
    • Type 440—a higher grade of cutlery steel, with more carbon in it, which allows for much better edge retention when the steel is heat-treated properly. It can be hardened to around Rockwell 58 hardness, making it one of the hardest stainless steels. Due to its toughness and relatively low cost, most display-only and replica swords or knives are made of 440 stainless. Also known as razor blade steel. Available in four grades: 440A, 440B, 440C, and the uncommon 440F (free machinable). 440A, having the least amount of carbon in it, is the most stain-resistant; 440C, having the most, is the strongest and is usually considered a more desirable choice in knifemaking than 440A except for diving or other salt-water applications.
    • Type 446—For elevated temperature service
  • 500 Series—heat-resisting chromium alloys
  • 600 Series—martensitic precipitation hardening alloys
    • 601 through 604: Martensitic low-alloy steels.
    • 610 through 613: Martensitic secondary hardening steels.
    • 614 through 619: Martensitic chromium steels.
    • 630 through 635: Semiaustenitic and martensitic precipitation-hardening stainless steels.
      • Type 630 is most common PH stainless, better known as 17-4; 17% chromium, 4% nickel.
    • 650 through 653: Austenitic steels strengthened by hot/cold work.
    • 660 through 665: Austenitic superalloys; all grades except alloy 661 are strengthened by second-phase precipitation.

15-5 Stainless Steel
Also known as a PH, or precipitation-hardening, grade of stainless, this alloy is used a great deal in the aircraft industry in part due to its strength, and also because there are a wide range of heat treatments to choose from to reach a specified hardness or other properties.

17-4 Stainless Steel
Also known as a PH, or precipitation-hardening, grade of stainless, this alloy is used a great deal in the aircraft industry in part due to its strength, and also because there are a wide range of heat treatments to choose from to reach a specified hardness or other properties. This alloy is very similar to 15-5 except that 17-4 tends to have more ferrite, and is slightly more magnetic.

17-7 Stainless Steel
Also known as a PH, or precipitation-hardening, grade of stainless, this alloy is used a great deal in the aircraft industry in part due to its strength, and also because there are a wide range of heat treatments to choose from to reach a specified hardness or other properties. 17-7 has exceptionally high strength and hardness, as well as the corrosion resistance normally associated with stainless. It is one of the more formable of the PH grades.

Nitronic 50 Stainless
This specialized alloy has better corrosion resistance than alloy 316, but twice the strength of that alloy. It can be hardened by cold working, but unlike most 300 series alloys, it does not become magnetic when cold-worked.

Nitronic 60 Stainless
There are a lot of stainless steel alloys. We're still trying to think of something interesting to write about this one. Nitronic 60 has a corrosion resistance somewhere between T-304 and T-316, but with roughly twice the strength of those materials.

18/8 and 18/10 designations are older terms, and refer to the amount of chromium and nickel alloyed with the iron, to comprise the stainless steel. The 18/8 name has been pretty much replaced, in the States at least, by several other designations. 301 stainless steel has 16-18% Cr, and 6-8% Ni 302 stainless steel has 17-19% Cr, and 8-10% Ni 304 stainless steel has 18-20% Cr, and 8-10.5% Ni. That may explain your difficulty in finding information on these alloys. Similarly, 18/10 is usually referred to as 316 stainless steel, with 16-18% Cr, 10-14% Ni, and also 2-3% molybdenum, which greatly increases the resistance to pitting corrosion in seawater.


Conversion Chart



Thickness - Inches































































As the Gauge gets smaller the steel gets thicker.

Stainless Steel Plates = 16 to 18 gauge
Stainless Steel End Plates = 11 gauge




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