Innovation of materials and processes in the construction world drive much of the research done. Construction companies are always looking for new materials to perform their jobs reliably while keeping their costs down. Reducing costs increases profits for the companies and also decreases the costs for the customers. Streamlining the processes also reduces the amount of time needed to complete a job, which reduces the costs for the companies and the customers. For these reasons, construction companies have begun utilizing chemical adhesives instead of stainless steel fasteners in NY construction jobs. While this might seem like a worthwhile idea, it is not quite as simple as it sounds.
Corrosion of Stainless Steel Fasteners
Also called inox, stainless steel is a type of metal characterized by a minimum of 10.5% chromium alloy. The presence of chromium in the alloy creates a layer that protects it from rust and corrosion in the presence of water unlike other forms of steel. The layer of chromium acts as a barrier that prevents rust from penetrating the metal to corrode the insides. This makes the metal highly resilient to degrading. The process of forming a protective barrier of chromium occurs with high enough chromium percentages in the presence of oxygen. The process is known as passivation.
Degradation of Stainless Steel Fasteners
Chemical adhesives and sealants are oftentimes very reactive to other chemicals. They are substances created by the creation of chemical bonds, therefore they can also be degraded by other chemicals. Acids are a chemical group that can degrade the quality of chemical sealants. While you are probably familiar with the highly corrosive acids such as hydrochloric acid, you might not know how easily chemical adhesives can be degraded. Hydrochloric acid is an industrial acid used as a solvent to remove chemicals. More common household items, such as oranges, lemons, and vinegar, are also quite acidic. While not nearly as powerful as HCL, they can still degrade chemical bonds over time.
Chromium treated steel is highly resilient to acids. Certain types, such as Type 904, are even resilient to sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid is an industrial chemical used to remove other chemicals. It is highly corrosive and damaging. In addition to sulfuric acid, all these types of steel are highly resistant to phosphoric acid.
One of the major concerns with metals is electricity. Lightning and electrical wiring can be very dangerous to the metals and electronics in your home or office. However, all types of stainless steel are very poor conductors of electricity. They are less conductive than copper.
Some of these stainless steel fasteners are magnetic but adjusting the alloy composition can reduce the magnetism. Magnetism can be a benefit and a curse in construction applications.