The Tensile Strength of Stainless Steel

Among the myriad qualities for which stainless steel wire is prized, one of the most remarkable is its undeniable tensile strength. In this edition of the BS Stainless blog, we will look in more detail at this crucial property and how it facilitates a diverse array of purposes in different industries. 

Tensile strength is a measure of the amount of force that any given material is able to stand up to before begins to stretch and ultimately break. When it comes to stainless steel, its high tensile strength is an important factor in the decision to use it in diverse applications. These applications include:

  • Construction. Stainless steel wire plays a crucial role in the construction of many structures, notably as a method of improving the load-bearing capacity of concrete used to create foundations. The material has an impressive ability to evenly distribute tension, enhancing the stability of structures. Stainless steel wire is widely used in the construction of suspension bridges such as the world famous Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco USA. The high tensile strength of the wire allows the bridge to easily support heavy traffic loads, as well as to accommodate the movement caused by strong winds. 
  • Medicine. As a naturally hygienic material and with its famed resistance to corrosion, stainless steel in all its forms is used for countless applications in the medical sector. Tensile strength also comes into play, with stainless steel wire being used to create various types of implants which must support the body's internal structures and be able to function at a continually-optimum level when subject to repeated body movements. 
  • Transportation. In the complex and demanding field of designing and building aircraft, minimising total weight is a key consideration. Stainless steel wire exhibits the ideal weight-to-strength ratio in this regard and therefore is used in the construction of various components such as rudder cables and landing gear. The automotive industry also takes advantage of the robust strength of stainless steel wire, using it to craft things like clutch cables and pre-tensioners in seatbelts.  

Adding copper to the alloy mix when manufacturing stainless steel wire can enhance its tensile strength even further, as well as improving several of the material's other qualities including electrical conductivity and resistance to corrosion.

BS Stainless is the UK's largest independent supplier and processor of stainless steel wire in a comprehensive selection of formats. Several of these wire types, such as cold heading wire and forming wire, can be supplied in copper-containing grades like 302 HQ and 304 Cu. Please browse our website for more details and get in touch with our skilled technical team if you have any further questions or need expert advice. BS Stainless — your partner for stainless steel.

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