The STAINLESS STEEL grades that are the most common are Type 302/304, Type 305 (non-magnetic) and Type 316.
Type 302/304 is 18-8 (18 parts chromium and 8 parts nickel) stainless steel and is most commonly used in the manufacture of wire rope. This type of stainless steel is commonly used in applications that require more corrosion protection than is available from galvanized carbon steel cable. Contrary to popular belief, stainless steel is not stronger than galvanized carbon steel cable. The fact is, it usually has a lower breaking strength than galvanized carbon steel cable of the same diameter and construction.
Type 305 S/S cable (non-magnetic) is commonly available in 1/16" and 1/32" diameters. This type of S/S is generally used in applications where sensitive instrumentation or other systems might be affected by magnetism.
Type 316 S/S is increasingly popular in many outdoor salt air environments. It has excellent corrosion protection and is the preferred choice of the marine industry. The increase in popularity of Type 316 S/S has spurred the availability of many wire rope terminals also becoming available in Type 316 S/S.
Monel is an uncommon grade of stainless and is used in applications where added resistance to corrosive substances and liquids are required. The main drawbacks to Monel are that its minimum breaking strength is about 30% less than that of Type 302/304 S/S and that it is not readily available.
CARBON STEEL WIRE is available in different grades, sometimes referred to as Plow Steel, Improved Plow Steel, or even Extra Improved Plow Steel. Wire rope manufactured from uncoated wire is commonly referred to as Bright. Bright wire rope is available in sizes 1/4 inch and over.
GALVANIZED carbon steel wire is frequently used to manufacture wire rope. Galvanized wire rope provides good corrosion protection in mild environments. In smaller sizes (less than 1/4 inch) it is almost automatically used when stainless steel is not specified
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