What is stainless steel in basic terms? It is the alloy steel that has chromium more than 12% or nickel more than 8%. In corrosive media, this element shows corrosive resistance in atmosphere and at high temperatures >450°C, it shows high strength. When the percentage of chromium in steel is between 16%-18%, it becomes acid-resistant steel or acid-resistant stainless steel.
The unique physical properties of stainless steel make it difficult to select the right end mill which delivers the requirements and simultaneously does not damage the material as well as machine.
Here, we will discuss some important information about stainless steel and factors that guides to selection of right end mills. Following topics will be covered in this section:
- Grades of stainless steel
- Features of stainless steel while processing
- Selection of end mill for stainless steel
- Machine cutting parameters
- Application of CNC-processed stainless steel
GRADES of Stainless Steel
The stainless steel is scale, acid, impact and toughness resistant in many temperature ranges. It becomes an ideal choice in many applications because it provides various grades and surface finishes. The chromium present in the steel forms an invisible, rough film made up of chromium oxide. This film makes the steel corrosion resistant and repairs itself if the material is damaged chemically or mechanically. The stainless steel being 100% recyclable is an environmental friendly material and this is why it is used widely from light-heavy industries.
There are 5 different categories for stainless steel. These 5 categories are named due to these alloy elements that affect microstructure.
Following are brief details of each category: