What is Stainless Steel – Atlantis Rail Systems

Stainless steel is a relatively new material compared to copper, steel and other commonly used metals so there are some misunderstandings regarding the material. The practice of making good stainless steel is not simple, but understanding the elements that make good stainless steel is fairly straight forward.

Stainless steel is a relatively new material compared to copper, steel and other commonly used metals so there are some misunderstandings regarding the material. The practice of making good stainless steel is not simple, but understanding the elements that make good stainless steel is fairly straight forward. All Atlantis Rail stainless is 316 low carbon (316L) which is the optimal grade for use in cable railing as it has a high degree of corrosion resistance while still having relatively high strength to other corrosion resistant materials.

Basic Cable Railing Stainless:

There are 4 basic components in 316L Stainless Steel and the most critical is Chromium which contributes 16-18% of the material. Chromium is what makes Stainless bright and shiny when polished and it develops a passive protective layer called chromium oxide when exposed to Oxygen.  Two other critical elements are Nickle (10-12%), Molybdenum (2-3%), Manganese (2%) these later materials do the job of protecting and healing the stainless when deep nicks occur, providing high heat resistance and material hardness. There are also trace amounts of several other non-critical elements.  

Add these 4 components to Iron and you have stainless steel, and yes Iron is the largest element by volume in stainless steel at about 68-64% Iron. Of course the material must be super-heated to 2750 F. Obviously something most of us can’t do, and then the metal is cast or poured into forms as stainless steel and cooled at prescribed intervals. The stainless at this stage is nonmagnetic, but once cold worked the magnetic properties of the Iron will be prevalent. Yes, you can and will have a magnet stock to manufactured stainless steel products.