Will Stainless Steel Melt in Fire?

Will Stainless Steel Melt in Fire?

Stainless Steel, also known as Inox steel is one of the most versatile metals used in the industry. This Nickel-Chromium alloy is highly appreciated because of the Resistivity they offer against Corrosion. This resistivity is achieved because of the added chromium content in them. Stainless Steel is rolled in various products such as Sheets, Plates, Bars, Wire, Tubing, Flanges, etc. Low maintenance and familiar luster make stainless steel ideal for various applications across numerous industries. They are used for various applications such as the manufacturing of surgical instruments, cutlery equipment, cooking ware, and electronic appliances; construction of all large and small buildings, etc. When compared to the general plastic polymers, the heat resistance, tolerance to the impact of heat, and tensile strength of the Steel outstrip that of, Plastic polymers. Plastic polymers don’t show high Heat resistance. Their ability to bear its heat is not at all near to that of Stainless Steel.

Melting Point of Stainless Steel

Stainless steel can be found in a wide range of formulations. They are primarily classified as Austenitic, Ferritic, and Martensitic. Austenitic steels include grades 304 and 316, ferritic steels include grades 430 and 434, and martensitic steels include grades 410 and 420. These stainless steel grades all have different temperature tolerances and melting points. The different grades are listed below, along with the temperatures at which they begin to melt.

  • Grade 304. 1400-1450°C (2552-2642°F)
  • Grade 316. 1375-1400°C (2507-2552°F)
  • Grade 430. 1425-1510°C (2597-2750°F)
  • Grade 434. 1426-1510°C (2600-2750°F)
  • Grade 420. 1450-1510°C (2642-2750°F)
  • Grade 410. 1480-1530°C (2696-2786°F)

As previously stated, the melting points of all grades are expressed in a temperature range. This is due to the possibility of minor variations in the formulation affecting the melting point, even within a specific alloy of stainless steel. There are numerous stainless steel grades, which cannot all be discussed here. All other grades of stainless steel are equivalent to the aforementioned grades.

While the above-mentioned temperature ranges are melting points, the recommended maximum temperature for Stainless steel application can be much lower than the above-mentioned temperatures.

The melting point of stainless steel should not be interpreted as its heat resistance.

At higher temperatures, several materials are known to lose strength. Stainless steel is no exception. It is more prone to bending and loses rigidity as temperatures rise. The metal begins to lose strength even before it reaches the melting point.

The high chromium content of stainless steel contributes to its resistance to scaling at elevated temperatures as well as its resistance to wet corrosion. It also aids them in attaining high-temperature strength. The ability of stainless steel to resist change when exposed to high temperatures is referred to as its creep strength. However, stainless steel’s low carbon content standards do not perform well at high temperatures.

Lower carbon-containing sheets, like Duplex Stainless steel, have excellent creep resistance, but they cannot resist embrittlement caused by temperatures above about 350°C, limiting their application below those temperatures. For example, if a Stainless Steel alloy retains 100% structural integrity at 850°C, it may lose 50% at 1000°C. This loss of stability and strength can cause the alloy to bend and break.

As a result, in addition to checking the melting point of the alloy, it is critical to check whether the alloy performs well in higher environments. Even if your process did not reach the stainless steel’s melting point temperatures, high temperatures could still cause damage in other ways.

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