For over twenty years, JTV Manufacturing has served Northwestern Iowa with highly accurate and precise laser-cut stainless steel components. We work with many types of stainless steel to meet the needs of diverse industries. If you need a durable and corrosion-resistant product, our team can create a high-quality solution that meets all of your specifications.
What is Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel is an iron alloy that resists rust and corrosion while maintaining an attractive luster that is useful in many applications. In addition to these characteristics, it is also easy to clean and performs well in high-heat applications. Stainless steel contains a minimum of 11% chromium as well as a variety of other elements and nonmetals that are formulated to achieve specific desired properties.
When the chromium in steel reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere, it forms a thin, invisible surface layer of chromium oxide. This layer is what protects the steel from rust and corrosion. As a highly versatile and durable material, stainless steel is widely used in industrial applications, as well as in medical equipment, and construction.
Types of Stainless Steel
At JTV Manufacturing, we work with many types of stainless steel, according to the needs of each application. Some of the most common grades we work with include:
- Austenitic stainless steel: Grades 304, 316, 321, 347
- Duplex stainless steel: Grades 2205, 2507
- Ferritic stainless steel: Grades 430, 434, 436
- Martensitic stainless steel: Grades 410, 416, 420, 440
- Precipitation-hardening stainless steel: Grades 17-4PH, 15-5PH
Applications of Stainless Steel
Before stainless steel is laser cut, it is rolled into sheets, plates, tubing, bars, or wire depending on the needs of the end-use application. Some of the most common industry-specific applications of stainless steel include the following:
- Aerospace: Due to its high strength-to-weight ratio and ability to withstand high temperatures, stainless steel is used to create many aircraft structural components, including landing gear, actuators, and fasteners.
- Automotive: Used to produce exhaust systems as well as other automotive parts due to its corrosion resistance and ability to withstand high temperatures.
- Construction: Widely used to create the structural systems of buildings due to its durability, and attractive aesthetic qualities.
- Electronics: Since stainless steel resists corrosion well, it improves the durability of many electronic devices.
- Jewelry: Stainless steel is a popular metal for jewelry making due to its bright and attractive finish, durability, and low care requirements.
- Kitchenware and cookware: Cutlery, cookware, and kitchen appliances are commonly made using stainless steel since it resists oxidation, is easy to clean, and withstands heavy usage.
- Marine industry: Since stainless steel is resistant to corrosion from salt water, it is a popular choice for boating components and other marine applications.
- Medical equipment: Many types of surgical equipment and other medical devices are made using stainless steel since it is easy to sterilize, will not corrode, and resists high temperatures.
- Oil and gas industry: Stainless steel is used to construct oil pipelines, heat exchangers, pumps, process vessels, and many other components for the oil and gas industry.
- Water treatment and distribution: As a highly durable and corrosion-resistant material, stainless steel is a popular choice for water treatment pipes and tubing.
Choosing the Right Laser Cutter for Laser Steel
There are several factors involved in selecting the right laser cutter for stainless steel. One of the most important considerations is the type of stainless steel you’re working with and its cutting thickness. Since each type of laser has a varying effect on metals, the desired surface finish should also be taken into account. For example, the presence of burrs on a laser cutting surface is typically related to the cutting thickness and type of gas used.
Some other key factors to consider include:
- Accuracy: A laser’s level of accuracy is measured in microns. Designs with greater levels of intricacy demand more precise lasers.
- Power: As the thickness of a workpiece increases, the more powerful a laser must be to cut through it. For steel up to 6 mm thick, a laser cutter with at least 500 watts of power is needed. At JTV Manufacturing, we cut through stainless steel with up to 10,000-watt laser cutters.
- Size: Laser-cutting stainless steel sheets requires an adequately sized bed for the project. A laser cutter’s bed size determines the size of sheets that can be cut in one pass.
- Maintenance: Laser cutters require regular maintenance to keep them operating at optimal performance. At JTV Manufacturing, we keep all of our equipment well-maintained and in their ideal operating conditions.
Stainless Steel Laser Cutting Services from JTV Manufacturing
JTV Manufacturing delivers expertly crafted stainless steel laser-cut components at competitive prices. Our 85,000 sq. ft. facility houses all of our production departments under one roof, allowing us to complete your project with minimal lead times. To learn more about our stainless steel laser cutting services, contact us or request a quote today.