Stainless Steel Coils
The term “stainless steel coil” refers, as one might assume, to coil wire forms made from stainless steel. Stainless steel is a steel alloy also sometimes known as inox or inox steel. No less than 10.5% chromium by mass, stainless steel is an exceptionally strong and corrosion resistant steel variety that is popular for use with an innumerable amount of applications in a countless number of industries. Examples of the industries in which stainless steel is used include aerospace, automotive, construction, health and medicine, military and defense, marine, food and beverage processing, architecture, sports and recreation, office and commercial supply, and more.
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Manufacturing Stainless Steel Coil
Manufacturers put raw stainless steel through the milling process to create a stainless steel coil. This procedure is where the name of steelmaking facilities, “steel mills,” comes from. To mill semi-finished casting products from steel, manufacturers use machining tools that use rotary cutters to remove material from the surface of a steel piece. These rotary cutters often have multiple cutting points, which move perpendicularly to the axis of the workpiece. Unlike the sharp cutting of a blade, rotary cutters work by pushing material off the workpiece in tiny cuts. In other words, milling machines work through deformation. Milling machines come in a wide variety of configurations, from mini-mills to large, heavy duty gang milling systems, and they may work with or without CNC technology. Today, it is more common for milling to be performed with CNC technology than without, as CNC machines allow the milling process to work more efficiently, with more complexity, more repeatability, and in greater volumes. In general, mill machines form stainless steel coil and other stock shapes like billets and ingots with precision and exactness.
One of the most popular uses of stainless steel coils is in the formation of springs. To create springs using stainless steel coils, manufacturers typically use a combination of cold rolling and lathe forming. First, they start with cold rolling, which is a type of roll forming. During cold rolling, manufacturers load the stainless steel coil into a roll forming machine, consisting of a series of roller die parts called calendars. The calendars are positioned above and below the stainless steel coil to be formed. As the stainless steel is transported through the machine, the calendars bend it on a linear axis. In this way, the stainless steel coil takes on a more uniform grain flow and shapes into flat coil strips. Note that, during cold rolling, the raw stainless steel material is heated only to temperatures below its point of recrystallization rather than above, thus increasing its tensile strength. After a stainless steel spring has been initially formed, manufacturers put it through secondary processing in order to wind it or coil it. Because stainless steel does not respond well to heat treatment, manufacturers cannot carry out this step as they would with other steel types by annealing it. Instead, they will often form it on a lathe. During lathe forming, a lathe machine winds coils using rapid rotation.
Stainless Steel Coil Design
Even though stainless steel coil does not tolerate heat treatment, it is still an overwhelmingly popular choice for spring applications and other formations. This is because not only is it corrosion resistant, but it is also highly rust resistant, will not become stained by water, and it is highly durable. Nevertheless, stainless steel may develop stains within certain unique environments, particularly those with low oxygen and high salinity or poor air circulation. For that reason, it is important to discuss your specifications with a skilled manufacturer. To help protect your investment, they may decide that it is best that your stainless steel coil product is coated with a protective finishing layer. A few examples of the materials with which stainless steel coil may be coated include zinc, black oxide, iridite, and passivate. To cater to your exact specifications, manufacturers will also willingly do things such as cut coils to length, produce coils to exact gauge requests, construct coils with varying degrees of flexibility, and machine coils with variable thicknesses. In addition, a good manufacturer will construct your stainless steel coil to meet the stringent requirements of standards set out by groups like ASTM. IQS Directory partners with only the best and brightest of the metal machining community. To find a manufacturer that will put your needs first and work with you closely to help you get the best stainless steel coil products possible, browse the companies listed on this page and reach out to one or more of them.