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RE: STEEL: Stainless Steel for Structural Applications

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The ASTM will depend on the shape that you are needing. i.e. Plate (ASTM A240 will not be the same as bar stock ASTM A276. The type of stainless steel may be the same (304, 304L, 316, 316L, 410, etc.)

If you are looking at the appropriate SS to use for a particular corrosive agent, that is something that chemical engineers, corrosioin engineers, and metalurgists get into more commonly.

There are several publications and several types of SS that you can specify depending on the corrosive material and the temperature. When it comes to aggressive corrosives, you may have to evaluate life span and the rate of corrosion (mpy), and the effect of the agent on the proposed SS that you choose to use.

There is no given code for many of these materials. And we are forced to go back to first principles. Eads and Roebling did not have codes for the materials they used. Eads perfomance specified the materials and they developed the appropriate materials with people like Andrew Carnegie. I know what you are thinking... Andrew Carnegie is not taking my phone calls either.

Back to the case at hand, let me know the corrosive agent, temperature ranges, and application. One may be able to select an appropriate SS. I have a notebook of collected information for designing everything from sulfuric acid piping, to wet stack percipitators, to high temperature stacks. The most corrosive resistant SS material is a proprietary product called Carpenter 20 stainless steel. But Carp 20 is very expensive.

I will list the following unit cost multipliers so you can get a rough order of magnitude for cost:
A36 carbon steel = 1 unit
Gr 304 SS (regardless of ASTM) = 3
Gr 316 SS (regardless of ASTM) = 8
Carpenter 20 SS = 20

Special-T Metals produced a catalogue some years ago with some common SS materials with some common corrosives for applicability. It can get you in the ball park. Unfortunatly Special-T was purchased by SIMCO which was purchased by ACS, and I don't think they kept the catalogue.

I have collected a lot of literature over the years for stainless steel from a number of sources.

Harold Sprague

From: "Polhemus, Bill" <Bill.Polhemus(--nospam--at)>
Reply-To: <seaint(--nospam--at)>
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: STEEL: Stainless Steel for Structural Applications
Date: Fri, 08 Apr 2005 07:54:09 -0500

Well, along these lines does anyone have any drawing notes for
specifying these things? I can't believe how little information is

Not sure which ASTM spec to use, or what the distinct difference
between, say 304 and 304L is.

Looks like 316/316L should be the way to go for "harsh chemical"
environment according to what I've read. I really need to bite the
bullet and get AWS D1.6, I guess.

And FWIW, the "Design Manual for Structural Stainless Steel" is
available in PDF format--for a price! You'd think the "Nickel
Development Institute" would want that thing out there for free!


From: Nels Roselund [mailto:njineer(--nospam--at)]
Sent: Wednesday, April 06, 2005 5:37 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)
Subject: RE: STEEL: Stainless Steel for Structural Applications


I've used "Design Manual for Structural Stainless Steel" published 1995
by the Nickel Development Institute

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