When selecting a weighing system for your manufacturing or industrial environment, choosing the right material for your unique requirements and conditions is key to getting a scale with components that will perform reliably and last. Material options can include a variety of steel alloys, such as mild steel and stainless steel, and understanding the differences in the composition and performance of these materials will help you decide which one is best for your application.
Steel is an alloy, which means it’s a combination of two or more metals. This combination and the amount of each metal in the combination determines the grade of the steel. The steel grade affects important material properties such as weldability, ductility, strength, and corrosion resistance—all of which factor heavily into weighing systems.
Mild steel, for example, has two main ingredients: iron and carbon. This composition makes mild steel highly weldable and ductile, but its high iron content also produces a low corrosion resistance, making it susceptible to rust in damp environments. Mild steel, therefore, is best for dry conditions.
Stainless steel, on the other hand, is an alloy that contains iron and a high percentage of chromium with other metals such as nickel and molybdenum mixed in. The chromium in stainless steel is what helps the material resist oxidation, rust, and corrosion. Stainless steel also has the benefit of being able to withstand high heat, which can be important in manufacturing environments. Compared to mild steel, stainless steel is less weldable and less ductile, but its corrosion and heat resistance are significantly higher.
To get the best weighing solution for your particular needs, contact an experienced dealer to help you make your selection and be prepared with a list of your weighing requirements as well as your environmental conditions. Frequent washdowns, exposure to corrosive chemicals, or even just a mildly damp environment are all conditions that demand the right scale material to get an accurate and dependable weigh.