Stainless steel washers are ideal for fastener assemblies needed to hold materials and products together under harsh and abusive conditions. That’s because stainless steel washers:
- Offer great resistance to corrosion, ideal for marine and food industry applications
- Are exceptionally strong
- Are readily available in a variety of alloys, sizes, and thicknesses for a wide range of uses
- Are cosmetically appealing and low maintenance
Stainless steel washers actually encompass a variety of corrosion-resistant steel alloys containing chromium, nickel, iron, manganese, silicon, carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, phosphorous, molybdenum, titanium, niobium, copper, tungsten and vanadium. When the proportions are changed, the characteristics of the resultant stainless steel washer alloy change.
Stainless steel washers are corrosion-resistant but not corrosion-proof — corrosion can occur if the material is installed or handled incorrectly. The corrosion can vary, from something as little as visual damage only to something as serious as functional loss through pitting or crevice corrosion. Corrosion can be the result of various factors but typically is caused by a lack of available oxygen which prevents the formation of a natural and self-repairing barrier of chromium-oxide on the surface of stainless steel material.
Chromium gives stainless steel washers their anti-corrosion property by allowing the formulation of an invisible chromium-oxide film on its surface which is known as a passive layer. This layer or film can self-repair if damaged mechanically or chemically when it has available oxygen, even in small quantities. The corrosion resistance of washers made from stainless steel may be enhanced by increasing the chromium content, together with the addition of other elements to the alloy such as nickel, molybdenum and titanium.
To learn more about stainless steel washers and how they can be used in your next application or product, contact the stainless steel specialists here at Electronic Fasteners.