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From the Blog
All You Need to Know About Coated Metals Applications involving ferrous metals like steel may require that the material undergo a coating process before it's suitable to use. Through one of several techniques, manufacturers can coat the surface of the metal with an alloy or other material to prevent corrosion and rust, enhance wear resistance and appearance, and achieve particular performance goals. Learn more about the types of coated metals available as well as their applications and benefits. What Are Coated Metals? Coated metal surfaces provide added protection for the material underneath and can prevent rust and corrosion that might otherwise develop from exposure to chemicals, air, or water. There are multiple coating materials and techniques that manufacturers can use, depending on the specific needs of the application. Click to Expand Manufacturers throughout numerous industries rely on coated metals to safeguard their products from damage. Industries with the highest need for metal protective coatings include: Aerospace Appliances Automotive Construction Electronics Marine Rainwater goods Manufacturers have many types of coated metals to choose from, each one delivering its own unique advantages. The most common types of coated metals include: Galvalume This type of steel is a structural, commercial, drawing, and forming variety that has undergone galvanization with an aluminum alloy consisting of 45% zinc. It's beneficial for its ability to retain its flatness, its superior resistance to corrosion as compared to standard galvanized steel, and its compatibility with painting processes. Galvalume steel is useful in applications such as ducting, varied paneling, and computer housings, to name a few. Galvanized To safeguard against corrosion, the galvanizing process applies a zinc layer overtop a ferrous metal. The most common method is hot-dip galvanizing. During this process, you dip steel material into a molten zinc bath to coat it. When you reexpose the material to the air, the zinc reacts to the oxygen immediately, resulting in a zinc-oxide layer of superior strength and corrosion resistance. Together, the steel and zinc create a metallurgical bond, which prevents flaking. Galvanized coatings are available in several weights, including G40, G60, and G90. Electro-galvanized. The electro-galvanizing process utilizes an electrical current to bond a zinc or zinc-iron coating with steel through an electrolytic technique. Electro-galvanized metal will have a uniform coating thickness, a smooth appearance with a matte finish, and a paintable surface post-priming. Metals that have undergone this process are ideal for automotive paneling applications. Prepainted cold rolled and galvanized carbon steel Prepainted steel offers excellent coating coverage and uniformity, resulting in improved corrosion resistance and minimized manufacturing time, since it eliminates the need for drying. This technique is suitable for high-volume production in numerous prepainted colors and texture choices. Prepainted steel is common in consumer appliance, automotive, and metal roofing applications. Galvannealed Coated with a zinc-iron alloy, galvannealed steel provides good flatness, formability, and weldability while still allowing for surface painting. It offers lower resistance to corrosion than galvalume steel, but it's still advantageous in electrical components, doors and framing, and exterior signage. Aluminized Aluminized metal coating involves surrounding a steel component with pure aluminum, which results in maximum corrosion and thermal resistance. Steel with an aluminum coating is applicable for many industrial tasks, such as HVAC systems, heat exchangers, and products for high-heat environments, such as baking sheets. When comparing aluminized steel vs. galvanized steel, aluminized steel can withstand significantly higher temperatures. Tin plate Tin plating involves covering a steel surface with tin in thin layers, providing optimal solderability and corrosion and rust resistance. As tin is a ductile material, products with tin plating have good formability, allowing you to produce components in various configurations without damaging the plating. Bonderized The bonderizing process involves putting cleaned galvanized steel through a phosphate bath followed by a chromate dry to produce a crystalline zinc-phosphate layer. The resulting finish is an excellent paint primer that improves paint's lifespan, but you should be ready to use the material immediately to prevent white rust. Also known as paint grip steel, bonderized steel has ideal uses in roofing applications, flashing, gutters, downspouts, outdoor signs, and more. Anodized When anodizing, manufacturers immerse a metal component within a tank containing an electrolytic solution and a cathode of lead or aluminum. As electric current passes through the component, the process encourages a non-toxic oxide layer to form overtop the metal's surface for greater protection and easy maintenance. Anodizing ultimately creates a thicker layer faster than if a surface were to oxidize naturally, and provides good chemical stability for a lasting coating. Anodizing is ideal for aluminum in particular and works with several non-ferrous metals, but all ferrous metals, including iron and steel, are incompatible with the process. Color options are also limited. Benefits of Coated Metals Metal coating techniques make ferrous substrates suitable for long-lasting use in their applications. Coated metals provide: Enhanced product lifespan due to products' surface strength Durability and minimal friction, even in high-contact components Resistance to abrasion, general wear, galvanization, oxidation, rust, corrosion, chemicals, and electricity damage Electrical conductivity (beneficial for commercial and industrial parts) Polished, aesthetically pleasing finishes free from surface flaws Increased torque, with effortless lubrication of fasteners or related components Simplified assembly, disassembly, and – given coatings' non-stick nature – cleanup tasks Budgetary savings Coated Steel and More From Continental Steel & Tube Company Coated metals increase the durability and lifespan of the components that manufacturers use these materials to produce. As a leading global supplier and distributor of high-quality metals, Continental Steel can help you identify and source the most suitable coated metal for your application. To learn more about our material options and industrial metal coating, contact us today.
Uses of Stainless Steel
Continental Steel is a leading global supplier of quality metals, including stainless steel, which we offer in numerous grades and forms. Stainless steel offers uniquely beneficial characteristics compared to regular steel and is a vital material in many industries. This blog post will discuss stainless steel's unique attributes, its applications and benefits, and the various grades we offer. Stainless Steel From Continental Steel Continental Steel supplies a comprehensive assortment of stainless steel grades, forms, finishes, and gauges, as well as width and length variations. Stainless steel is an alloy comprised of nickel, niobium, molybdenum, and a minimum of 10.5% chromium. In comparison to regular steel, it does not easily rust, corrode, or stain. Since stainless steel is used throughout such a wide variety of industries and applications, there are numerous forms to choose from. Stainless steel is classified into five categories based on composition and manufacturing processes. These types are austenitic, ferritic, duplex, martensitic, and precipitation hardened. They are available in different series that each display unique attributes. The 300 series of stainless steel grades are comprised of austenitic chromium-nickel alloys. The most commonly used type within this series is type 304. Type 316 is another commonly used type, typically found in medical or food-related applications. It is also referred to as "marine grade.” In addition to these popular grades, Continental Steel offers a wide selection of stainless steel grades, which include: Click to Expand Low Carbon Grades 304L 316L 317L High Carbon Grades 304H 316H Additional Grades 302 303 309 310 330 17-4 17-7 15-5 13-8 321 347 904 254SMO As well as PH Precipitation Hardened Condition. The 400 series of stainless steel is comprised of ferritic and martensitic chromium alloys. Within this series, type 409 is the most cost-effective and is commonly used in automobile exhausts. Other notable types include 416, which is easily machinable, and 420, surgical steel or cutlery grade, which features excellent polishability. Other 400 series grades we supply include: 410 430 440 Custom 455 Custom 465 Continental Steel works extensively with super duplex stainless steel grades, including 2205 duplex, Super Duplex 2507, 2304 duplex, LDX 2101 (UNS S32101), and 2501. These grades of stainless steel are used in many marine applications due to their high tensile strength and resistance to corrosion. Applications include seawater systems, pressure vessels, storage tanks, desalination plants, umbilicals / coiled tube, and flue-gas cleaning. The numerous types and grades of stainless steel come in different forms, such as: Polished or grit material Large diameter round bar Small Diameter Square Flat Hexagon Perforated sheets Seamless and welded pipe and tube Plates, sheets, and coils Pump shaft quality (PSQ) Boat Shaft Quality (BSQ) Sturcturals (channels, angles, beams) Stainless Steel Applications & Uses With such a wide variety of forms available and numerous beneficial qualities, stainless steel is used throughout numerous industries, such as: Aerospace: Used in fuel lines as well as exhaust and structural components. Architecture and construction: Bridges, sculptures, airport roofs, and other structures all require stainless steel's strength and weight efficiency. Food industry: Used to produce knife blades, grills, sinks, saucepans, dishwashers, tables, easy-to-sanitize surfaces, breweries, sanitary tubes, and other kitchen appliances Marine: Used in shipbuilding to construct cargo tanks due to its mechanical efficiency, and also in seawater reverse osmosis units. Medical: Martensitic stainless steels are used to produce surgical instruments such as knives, clamps, needle holders, forceps, pacemakers, cannulated tubes, and more. Both highly specialized, technical applications and commercial applications alike rely on various forms of stainless steel to develop reliable, cost-effective, and attractive components. Benefits of Using Stainless Steel Stainless steel offers numerous beneficial qualities, including: Corrosion resistance: All grades of stainless steel feature high resistance to corrosion High and low-temperature resistance: Stainless steel is highly resilient to oxidation, which enables it to retain its strength in temperature extremes. Strength: Highly durable with excellent impact resistance, stainless steel retains its shape well and has a low susceptibility to brittleness. Ease of fabrication: At its melting point, stainless steel is easily fabricated, cut, or welded. Aesthetic appeal: Stainless steel is an elegant and modern-looking material that is a popular choice for home appliances and decor. Hygienic properties: Extremely easy to clean and sanitize, stainless steel features a non-porous surface that's inhospitable to bacteria. Life cycle characteristics: Stainless steel is 100% recyclable as well as highly durable and low maintenance. This results in significant life cycle cost savings compared to alternative materials. Easily sterilized: It is ideal for hygienic environments since it is easily sterilized and resistant to corrosion Magnetic and non-magnetic grades: The availability of both magnetic and non-magnetic grades makes stainless steel suitable for a wide range of applications. Magnetic metals are unsuitable for many applications. By selecting a non-magnetic stainless steel for these applications, you get the benefits of a stainless steel without the challenges of a ferritic metal. In many applications, the durability and high-performance capabilities of stainless steel make it a cost-saving choice throughout the life cycle of a project. Continental Steel: Your Stainless Steel Partner With so many types of stainless steel being used in diverse applications, it's important to partner with an expert who understands your needs. Since 1985, Continental Steel has offered a comprehensive selection of stainless steel grades and forms and are backed by decades of experience. To learn more about how our capabilities can help with your next project, contact us today.
Understanding Copper Grades
Copper is one of the oldest, most versatile metals in the world. There are different grades of copper, which are categorized based on their composition. Since 1985, Continental Steel & Tube Company has been one of the world’s top suppliers of high-quality metals, including various copper tubing grades. Here you’ll learn about the different copper grades available and their typical applications. Copper Grades From Continental Steel Click to Expand Copper grades are categorized depending on their composition of copper and various alloying elements, such as zinc, lead, nickel, and beryllium. The different grades also denote the manufacturing process used to produce it. Continental Steel offers the following copper grades: C101. Oxygen-Free Electronic (OFE) Copper, C10100 C102. Oxygen-Free Copper, C10200 C120. Deoxidized Low Phosphorus (DLP) Copper, C12000 C122. Deoxidized High Phosphorus (DHP) Copper, C12200 C151. Zirconium Copper, C15100 C182. Chromium Copper C194. High-Strength Modified (HSM) Copper, C19400 C220. Commercial Bronze (90/10), C22000 C230. Red Brass (85/15), C23000 C270. Yellow Brass (65/35), C27000 C314. Leaded Commercial Bronze C330. Low-Leaded Brass, C33000 C332. High-Leaded Brass, C33200 C360 Free Machining Brass C435. Trumpet Brass (80/20), C43500 C443. Admiralty Brass (Arsenical), C44300 C464. Naval Brass C510. Phosphor Bronze (5), C51000 C521. Phosphor Bronze (8), C52100 C693. Lead-free Brass C706. Copper Nickel (90/10), C70600 C710. Copper Nickel (80/20), C71000 C715. Copper Nickel (70/30), C71500 C740. Nickel Silver (10), C74000 C752. Nickel Silver (18), C75200 C836. Leaded Red Brass C857. Leaded Yellow Brass C863. Manganese Bronze C693. Lead-free Brass C89835. Bismuth Tin Bronze C903. Tin Bronze C954. Aluminum Bronze C955. Nickel-Aluminum Bronze C959. Aluminum Bronze More grades are available upon request Copper Grade Applications Able to be cold or hot worked, copper is a versatile metal across a wide range of industries and applications: Automotive: Copper tubing is an essential component of many of today’s automotive components, specifically copper-nickel brake tubing, heat exchangers, and radiators. Electrical: Because of its excellent conductivity, copper is an ideal material for a wide range of electrical applications, enhancing energy efficiency and power quality. Copper is commonly used in wires, windings, cables, transformers, electric motors, printed circuit boards, electromagnets, heat sinks, and busbars. Fuel Gas: Copper tubes are excellent materials for natural gas piping systems. Marine: Copper’s corrosion resistance, biofouling resistance, and strength make it perfect for a wide range of marine applications. Machining: Copper alloy rods and bars are ideal for machined products. Telecommunications: Modern telecommunications systems rely on copper wiring as a low-cost, high-performance solution. Industrial heat exchangers – Provides thermal conductivity, strength and corrosion protection Musical Instruments: Horns, trumpets, trombones and saxophones Common Uses for Copper Copper alloys have a long history of use because copper is easy to machine and turn into various forms. Copper is an excellent conductor of heat and electricity, resistant to corrosion, and naturally antimicrobial. These properties make the metal ideal for: Electrical wiring: Copper is an excellent conductor of electricity and is often used in electrical wiring. Roofing: Copper is a popular roofing material due to its durability and weather resistance. Pipes and plumbing: Copper is commonly used for pipes and plumbing due to its corrosion resistance and antibacterial properties. Cookware: Copper cookware is popular because the material effectively conducts heat. Decorative items: Because of its aesthetic appeal, copper is often used for decorative items such as sculptures and jewelry. Electrical components: Copper is often used in electrical components such as resistors, capacitors, and heat exchangers. Continental Steel: Your Copper Grade Partner Copper is essential in many industries, and various copper grades offer application-specific properties. At Continental Steel, we have a long history of providing high-quality copper products for electrical, welding, heat transfer, and other applications. As a globally leading supplier of copper tubing in various grades, sizes, and shapes, we are standing by to help you find the right solution for your project. We are ISO 9001:2015 and AS9120B:2016 certified to provide the highest quality products to the aerospace and other critical markets. Contact us today to ask about or order our copper tubing products.