When most people look at small parts for machines and structures, such as valves, bolts and screws, they don’t necessarily give much thought to the specific material from which they’re made. In fact, they can be made from a variety of materials, from iron to aluminum to any one of several alloys of steel. If you really care about the part, however, and you really need it to last a long time, you need to strongly consider making it from 303 stainless steel. This tough alloy outshines other materials for a number of reasons and makes sense as a choice for machine parts and fasteners of all kinds.

A Few Facts About 303 Stainless
When you combine carbon, manganese, silicon, chromium, nickel, copper, molybdenum, selenium, phosphorus and sulfur in the proper amounts, you get the alloy of 303 stainless steel. It is made by the electric furnace process and it is non magnetic in its annealed state. It tends to be produced in rectangles, rounds hexagons and squares and it can be cold-worked to increase hardness.

Machining 303 Stainless
One of the greatest benefits of 303 stainless is that it is very easily machined. It has a machinability rating of 78 percent as compared to the B1212 alloy. The metal has a smooth machined finish, especially in the “Ugima” grade. The alloy is not easily weldable, however.

Making Parts that Last
In general, machine parts and fasteners need to be strong, resistant to corrosion and able to withstand a wide range of temperatures. The alloy of 303 stainless is very strong, with a tensile strength of up to 95,000 PSI and a yield strength approaching 40,000 PSI. It resists corrosion in mildly corrosive environments, but would not be as effective in more challenging environments, such as marine applications. This metal resists oxidation well at temperatures up to 870 degrees Fahrenheit in continuous operation.

Best Parts to Be Made With 303 Stainless
Any and all fasteners, including screws, bolts, rivets and more, could be made from 303 stainless as long as they are not being used in a marine or other highly corrosive environment. In terms of specific small machine parts, 303 can be used for bushings, valves, shafts, gears and fittings, among other things. It can even be used for some electrical components.

Aerotech Alloys can meet your needs for 303 stainless steel products. Go to Aerotechalloys.com.