Material Types: Stainless Steel

Stainless steel, due to its characteristics, is one metal that is used frequently in many industries such as automotive. Since this is a commonly used material we will break down each type of stainless steel that we use during the tube forming process, its uses, and its characteristics to help educate on the differences of stainless steel. 

409 Stainless Steel: This stainless steel is primarily used within the automotive sector for applications such as exhaust systems, heat exchangers, and manifolds. Primarily composed of iron at almost 90%, unlike 300 series stainless steel, 409 is magnetic. This characteristic is useful to distinguish the difference between 409 and other types of stainless steel. 409 is a very economical way to produce a product with oxidation and corrosion resistance. Unlike its other stainless steel counterparts, 409 is easier to form since it provides less spring back and rigidity of other stainless steels.

304 Stainless Steel: Due to its high strength and excellent corrosion and oxidation resistance, 304 stainless steel is used in many industries. Typical uses include exhaust systems, kitchen equipment, chemical processing equipment, architectural trim, and more. Unlike 409, 304 stainless steel is comprised of more chromium (18%-20%), therefore making it non magnetic. Since this stainless steel is stronger than its 409 counterpart, this characteristic does make it more difficult to form depending upon the application. Additional engineering measures are added to compensate for rigidity and spring back during the end forming process.

439 Stainless Steel: 439 stainless steel provides many of the same characteristics as 409 stainless steel, the only few differences being that it provides greater oxidation and corrosion resistance. Because of this additional resistance, this steel is used in exhaust systems, kitchen equipment, and architectural structures.This steel is slightly harder than 409 but it still has the same forming properties as 409.

316 Stainless Steel: 316 stainless steel is superior to 304 in regards to corrosion resistance and elevated temperature strength. These different characteristics make it suitable for applications such as jet engine parts, exhaust manifolds, furnace parts, storage tanks, and chemical equipment. Even though this steel is slightly different than its 304 counterpart, it still shares the same forming attributes and challenges of 304 stainless steel.

Employee Appreciation Cookout

Every year, Company President and Vice President, John & Valerie Schwochert, host an employee appreciation cookout to give back to the employees for all their hard work. Each cookout is prepped by the John and Val themselves. Thank you for a for all the hard work this year, Proto-1 Team!    

Virtual Tour

Make sure to check out our latest production. Click the video below to view our virtual tour!