For a large number of industrial applications, fluids are transported from one place to another using a network of pipes and hoses. For connecting these hoses and pipes to each other sanitary fittings are used.
Depending on the type of fluid used, temperature and other factors, the fittings may be made from different materials like plastic, polymer, rubber, cast iron, stain steel or copper. However, for a large number of applications, companies are preferring to use stainless steel sanitary fittings because of the numerous benefits of using these fittings which are discussed.
Types of stainless steel
Usually, the sanitary fittings are manufactured from different grades of stainless steel (SS) which vary in their chemical composition. SUS304 is a widely used stainless steel with 18% chromium and 8% nickel and the maximum amount of carbon is 0.08%. SUS304L is a variant of SUS304, with the carbon percentage being less than 0.03% for greater corrosion resistance.
SUS316 is another variant of stainless steel with 16% chromium, 10% nickel and two percent molybdenum; the added molybdenum makes the steel more resistant to corrosion caused by chlorides, especially seawater, deicing salt, and sodium chloride. The SUS316L variant is also available with a lower carbon percentage.
One of the main advantages of using stainless steel for the fittings and valves is that it is very corrosion resistant. Many of the fluids, especially acidic and alkaline liquids, will react chemically with the non-SS fittings and pipe material, eroding them over a period of time.
These fittings also get corroded after a few years. The SS fittings do not get corroded and can be used for a longer time. The surface of these fittings is very smooth, so the dirt and other liquids are less likely to accumulate on the surface, and the functioning of the machinery will not get affected. This will also prevent contamination to some extent
Since the SS fittings and valves are very durable, they can be used for many years without any problem. So this will greatly reduce the maintenance required, these components have to be replaced less often. The fittings are designed so that they can be easily cleaned without much effort, saving time and money.
While the most commonly used fittings conform to the 3A sanitary standards, the fittings can be manufactured according to any other quality standard like DIN, SMS according to customer requirements. Each fitting is tested thoroughly for quality, so that the customer does not face any problem.
The SS fittings are preferred when extremely corrosive fluids are being transported, or high levels of hygiene are required. The SS valves, fittings are widely used in the food & beverage sector, pharmaceutical sector and for manufacturing health, cosmetic and beauty products. They are also used in the automotive sector and petrochemical industries.
Sewage often contains corrosive liquids so sewage treatment systems, piping will also use these SS fittings. Factories that manufacture chemicals from raw material or use chemicals prefer to use SS fittings since they are more durable, reducing maintenance and repair.