Grades of stainless steel fasteners?

McMaster-Carr sells three different grades of stainless steel fasteners. I know 316 is expensive because it is most corrosion resistant.
What are the differences between 304 stainless and 18-8 stainless fasteners? The 18-8 seem to be a lot cheaper.
What grade stainless fasteners does your average hardware store sell?
Brian Elfert
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"Brian Elfert" writes:

The operative words are "stain" and "less".
All "stainless" corrodes, it's just a matter of time.
All stainless requires the presence of oxygen to be effective.
I use strictly 316 for exterior marine applications since 304 and 18-8, basically the same, will pit rather quickly in the salt air environment found around a boat.
McMaster-Carr tends top be very pricey, but they usually have inventory.
If you are willing to purchase full boxes (100 pc) of a given size, try Jamestown Distributors, they are my main supplier and they are 3,000 miles away.
Don't know what you are doing, but have you thought of bronze?
HTH
--
Lew

S/A: Challenge, The Bullet Proof Boat, (Under Construction in the Southland)
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It sounds like 18-8 is probably the common grade found in hardware stores.

McMaster-Carr isn't expensive compared to a local hardware store.

I am buying some socket cap screws. The black oxide ones will rust even in just a single light rainfall. I am building something that may occasionally get used in the rain.
Brian Elfert
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We use the 18-8 machine screws and socket cap screws, mostly from McMaster. They are used in tooling that is subjected to steam, water (pH 6.4), air, vacuum cycles every 30 to 60 seconds for 24 hours a day, sometimes for months at a time. They hold up well. Never found a reason to use a more expensive item. Ed
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I'm certainly not planning on buying the 316 stainless fasteners. I was just trying to determine if the 18-8 or the 304 stuff is the same as the stuff sold at the local hardware store.
It appears the 18-8 is the same grade as the normal hardware store stuff.
Brian Elfert
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This should help from Atlas Steels:
Chemical Formula Fe, <0.8% C, 17.5-20% Cr, 8-11% Ni, <2% Mn, <1% Si, <0.045% P, <0.03% S
Grade 304 is the standard "18/8" stainless; it is the most versatile and most widely used stainless steel, available in a wider range of products, forms and finishes than any other. It has excellent forming and welding characteristics. The balanced austenitic structure of Grade 304 enables it to be severely deep drawn without intermediate annealing, which has made this grade dominant in the manufacture of drawn stainless parts such as sinks, hollow-ware and saucepans. For these applications it is common to use special "304DDQ" (Deep Drawing Quality) variants. Grade 304 is readily brake or roll formed into a variety of components for applications in the industrial, architectural, and transportation fields. Grade 304 also has outstanding welding characteristics. Post-weld annealing is not required when welding thin sections.
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Does anybody know a source for stainless fastners and hardware in really small sizes? Places like Jamestown and McMaster only go down to about #6 or maybe #4 for some stuff. I need smaller. Like 2-56 or even smaller than that.
I've got a radio controlled sailboat, which I sail in salt water. Most of the hardware on it came from a hobby shop, but they really cater to planes and cars so nothing is stainless. Needless to say, most of my hardware is quickly rusting.
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My local hardware store has a bin of small stainless bolts. Not sure if they go down to #2 though.
Brian Elfert
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http://www.smallparts.com
Goes down to #0. Metric sizes, too.
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Cool. They look like they've got a really good selection. Thanks for the info!
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try contacting the people at micro-mark -- they specialize in miniature stuff
also try smallparts.com

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Brian Elfert wrote:

You might find the discussion at <http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/WestAdvisorDisplayView?advisorx8.htm to be helpful.

--
--John
Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
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