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Frequently Asked Questions

What information do you need to open an account?

Our credit application is available on the Resources tab of this website as well as the Homepage footer of this website.  Please complete and return.

Is export packaging available?

Information on our packaging options is available on the Processing tab of this website.  Please discuss your requirements with your salesperson who will be able to advise what the extra charges will be for a specific order.  In addition to several standard size skids and crates, we are also equipped to build custom sizes to meet your specific requirements.  Ocean, Air and UPS packaging options are also available.

Can specifications be upgraded?

This depends on the grade, revision level and sometimes the mill.  We will make every effort to accommodate your request. Please discuss your specific interests with our sales team.

What is the difference between 304 and 316 stainless steel?

The primary difference between these 2 grades of stainless steel is the amount of molybdenum contained in each.  

While 304 stainless steel does not contain any molybdenum, 316 stainless steel contains 2%.  The other primary elements of chromium and nickel are found in almost identical quantities in 304 and 316 stainless steel.  The differences between 304 and 316 stainless steel are not easily seen with the naked eye.  Mill test reports and certifications like those provided by United Performance Metals are the best way to determine if the stainless steel in question is 304 or 316.  The addition of molybdenum allows 316 stainless steel to resist corrosion from chlorides like sea water and de-icing salts much better.  This makes 316 popular in applications like oil rigs, chemical processing equipment, food processing equipment, textile processing equipment and pharmaceutical processing equipment – to name just a few.  United Performance Metals stocks a complete inventory of 304 and 316 stainless steel in sheet, plate, coil and bar.  For more information call 888.282.3292.

In which situations is an “L-Grade” of stainless steel best suited?

"L-Grade" stainless steels are low carbon grades typically used for parts which can not be annealed after fabrication by welding. The low carbon minimizes sensitization, or chromium depletion at the grain boundaries of the material which would otherwise reduce it's corrosion resistance.

Which grade of stainless steel is right for my application?

Determining the grade of stainless steel that will perform best in a particular application is a difficult one. Careful consideration should be given to the stress levels and thermo-chemical environment in which the metal is required to perform.  Our experienced staff will be happy to discuss your specific needs.  For more information, call 888.282.3292.

Can different grades of stainless steel be welded to one another?

For purposes of welding, most grades of stainless steel within the same family (i.e. 300 series to 300 series) are compatible. Welding different families of stainless steel (i.e. 300 series to 400 series) is more problematic. It is important when welding together different grades of stainless steel to ensure that each of the grades is adequately suited for the application. When welding stainless steel a filler rod or electrode made of stainless steel must be used.

Is stainless steel more resistant to wear than carbon steel?

Stainless steel in many instances is more wear resistant, especially in corrosive environments, than carbon steel. There have been numerous examples of much softer grades of stainless steel outperforming hardened grades of carbon steel. For best results, it is always recommended that you determine the best grade of stainless steel for your specific application.

What is the difference between 410 and 410S stainless steel?

410 is a basic, general purpose, hardenable martensitic stainless steel. 410S is a lower carbon modification of 410 which is more easily weldable, but with reduced mechanical properties.

What condition is United Performance Metals's 410 material received?

United Performance Metals 410 is sold in an annealed condition. This means the product is in the softest possible condition.

What does RC41 communicate on a test report for 410 stainless?

RC41 communicates the hardness of a metal on the Rockwell scale. In the case of the AMS 5504 specification, the metal is required to be heat treated to a hardness of between 35-45 on the Rockwell scale.