Stainless Steel Tee: Size, Materials and Manufacturing

The stainless steel tee is a structural element used in various projects. They are typically used for providing strength and rigidity, though they could also be used for aesthetic purposes. These tees are available in a wide variety of sizes, both standard and custom to the project needs. They may also be made from different materials, and they may also be manufactured typically by hot rolling or by laser fused technology.
Materials Used
Though carbon steel does provide strength, a stainless steel tee can offer the necessary structural strength while resisting rust. The typical stainless steel alloys used are 304/304L and 316/316L. Whichever one is used, both of them are suitable for forming and welding.

Type 304 is one of the most widely used stainless steels, and is sometimes known as “18-8” because it contains 18 percent chromium and eight percent nickel. It can be formed into a variety of shapes. Though used widely in applications involving food processing though, it may also be used a wide variety of other uses, including architectural elements, containing chemicals, or certain type of fasteners.
Type 316 is suitable for marine environments and other similar applications that could prove corrosive to exposed metals. It contains between two and three percent molybdenum, which increases its resistance to corrosion, increases its resistance to pitting in presence to chloride ions, and increases its strength at high temperatures. This is also a metal of choice for use in jet engine parts, pumps, and valves.

The type 304L and 316L alloys are the extra-low carbon versions of 304 and 316, respectively. Both of these metals lend themselves to welding. Plus, they minimize carbide precipitation that occur when welding. They can also be formed through hot rolling.

Hot Rolling
One method for producing a stainless steel tee is through hot rolling. With this process, the material is heated to the proper working temperature, which makes it more malleable. Metals like stainless steel typically cannot be formed just through one set of rollers, thus a series of rollers are needed to form the metal with progressive steps to the final shape. This yields a product of high strength, though the dimensions will likely not be as precise as through laser fusion.

Laser Fused Technology

Through the use of powerful lasers, different strips of material can be welded together to produce a tee. Laser fusion technology allows a tee to be made with either with all materials being the same, or with different materials being fused together permanently. This is especially useful from an engineering standpoint when taking advantage of mechanical properties of different metals to create a custom solution.

Making the Right Selection

When choosing which stainless steel tee to utilize, consider all of this information. Weigh the needs of the application against the properties of different materials. Take dimensional tolerances into account and choose with regard to which manufacturing process is the best option. This will be useful for better execution of a project.