Different Metal Gradings For Scrap Steel Metal

As a scrap metal recycler, you will first need to identify the differences between metal types. Learning to identify different metal types allows you to sort your metal piles so you can get a higher sales price for scrap metal that is more valuable.  

Once you learn the main differences between metal types, it can be good to dig a little bit deeper and find out more about metal-grading. Scrap metal is often graded based on the quality of the metal. Higher-grade metal types can potentially earn a little bit more at scrap metal companies.

In this guide, we are going to take a peek at stainless steel and the common gradings for different types of stainless steel. 

What is Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel is an alloy steel that consists of chromium and low carbon. This type of metal is easily identified by its high gloss silver sheen and it is very popular because the metal offers great corrosion and rust resistance.

The ferrous metal also contains a percentage of iron. This iron content gives the metal magnetic qualities. The higher the iron count stainless steel has (or lower chromium percentage), the more vulnerable it will be to rust. This is why you might notice some rust spots develop on cheap appliances. 

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The Main Stainless Steel Types

Stainless steel comes in many different forms. There are over 100 grades of stainless steel but these grades fall under five main categories:

01. Austenitic Stainless Steel

Austenitic stainless is the most common and is often used in kitchenware because it is non-magnetic and has good corrosion-resistant qualities. The steel contains 16 – 26  % chromium and can consist of up to 36% nickel. These stainless steel types also contain nitrogen and molybdenum. This combination of elements results in a metal that is highly malleable and easy to form into all sorts of shapes. 

02. Ferritic Stainless Steel

Ferritic stainless steel is often used to produce domestic hardware like sinks, cutlery, and table tops for commercial kitchens. This type of stainless has a low carbon percentage and doesn’t contain any nickel. This metal usually consists of 10 – 30% chromium. Ferritic stainless doesn’t harden by heat treatment and is usually marginally hardened by cold rolling. 

03. Duplex Stainless Steel

Duplex stainless is renowned for its strength. Because it is so tough, it is often used in the automotive, marine, and thermal power-generating industries. This type of metal contains a lot of chromium and other ingredients like nickel, copper and molybdenum. 

05. Martensitic Stainless Steel

Martensitic stainless is lightweight yet very strong making it ideal for automotive applications, door beams, and bumpers. This steel usually contains 12 – 17% chromium, 0.1 – 1.2% carbon, and small amounts of nickel, manganese, and molybdenum.  The higher carbon percentage in this type of stainless steel enhances its durability and makes it more rust-resistant. 

06. Precision-Hardening Stainless Steel

This type of stainless steel is made of a combination of copper, niobium, and aluminium. This type of stainless is used in aerospace industries because the metal can withstand extreme stress, temperatures, and environments. 

Identifying Your Stainless Steel Type

To identify the type of stainless steel you have, you will need to perform a couple of tests. These tests can include spark tests, Brinell Hardness tests, and magnetic tests. 

Sell Any Grade Stainless Steel To Vic Star Metals

At Vic Star Metals, we are happy to take any type of stainless steel off your hands. Our scrap metal company offers the highest rate for stainless steel and is happy to collect large loads from your company whenever you need to clean up the shop. Give Vic Star Metals a call to find out more about our current stainless rates. 

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