Are you planning to sell scrap metal and you’re curious about the best stainless steel prices per pound? Or maybe you’re curious about how the stainless steel recycling process works in general. Either way, we’re going to give you all of the answers you’re looking for in today’s post.
As scrap metal recyclers who pay cash on site, we get a lot of questions about all-things scrap metal, including stainless steel. Today, we’re answering all of those questions in one spot.
Let’s start with the big questions we know you’re dying to have answered:
What are Stainless Steel Prices Per Pound?
At the time of publishing (late January 2022) stainless steel prices per pound sit at $0.64. However, there are several different categories and types of stainless steel and we’ll tell you about their current prices too.
But first, let’s answer your next big question.
What are the different categories of stainless steel?
When you think of stainless steel, a shiny, smooth metal might come to mind. But there are actually several different types of stainless steel that fall under this category.
They fall into three primary categories:
Austenitic Stainless Steel
This is the most common type of stainless steel. When you compare them to other stainless steel categories, austenitic stainless steel typically has higher chromium content. What does this mean? Most importantly, it means they’re more resistant to corrosion. This type of stainless steel is usually non-magnetic as well. However, after cold working (strengthening metals through plastic deformation) they can become magnetic.
There are a few different common types of austenitic stainless steels: grade 304 stainless steel and grade 316 stainless steel.
Grade 304 stainless steel is the most common variety of all, and it’s renowned for its high tensile strength. It also has a high maximum operating temperature. These qualities make it ideal for a number of different applications.
Next, we come to grade 316 stainless steel which also has a high tensile strength and a high maximum operating temperature, although not as high or as strong as grade 304. It does, however, stand up to chlorides (including salt) better than grade 304 so it’s often used in applications with exposure to chlorides.
Ferritic Stainless Steel
As for the second most popular type of stainless steel, we come to a magnetic form known as ferritic stainless steel. This material can be hardened through cold working and since they usually have less nickel, this material tends to cost less than austenitic stainless steel.
There are two common types of ferritic stainless steel: grade 430 and grade 434.
Grade 430 stainless steel is known for its impressive resistance to nitric acid. It isn’t as strong as grades 304 or 316 stainless steel, but it’s still suitable for a number of applications.
Next, is grade 434 stainless steel. It’s stronger than grade 430 with a higher tensile strength as well as a higher maximum operating temperature. When compared to austenitic stainless steel, it’s also more suitable for high-temperature applications grade 316 stainless steel.
Martensitic Stainless Steel
Finally, we come to the third and least common stainless steel alloy. Martensitic stainless steels are usually less resistant to corrosion than other alloys, although they are very hard. If they need to perform under corrosive conditions, they can be coated with a protective polymer coating. They also suit applications that call for impressive impact resistance and high tensile strength.
The most common type of martensitic stainless steel is grade 420. If it’s annealed (making it softer and less brittle), its tensile strength is around 586 MPa (85 ksi). Once it’s hardened and stress relieved, its strength increases to about 1,586 MPa (230 ksi). It isn’t known for its resistance to chemicals compared to austenitic and ferritic stainless steel. However, it suits mildly acidic elements, water, and water well, so you’ll often see cutlery made with this material
What are the stainless steel prices per pound for other types of stainless steel?
We’ve talked about stainless steel prices per pound for stainless steel in general. But now, let’s look at prices for the different categories and types of stainless steel as of January 2022.
(Prices from https://iscrapapp.com/prices/)
Specific stainless steel prices per pound
- 300 series stainless steel: $0.65
- 304 stainless steel: $0.66
- Stainless steel sinks: $0.37
- 310 stainless steel: $1.15
- Stainless steel kegs: $0.44
- 316 stainless steel: $0.86
- Stainless steel heatsinks: $0.63
- 321 stainless steel: $0.59
- Non-magnetic stainless steel: $0.66
- Stainless steel breakage: $0.63
- 400 series stainless steel: $0.16
- 17-4 stainless steel: $0.25
How do you know if you have stainless steel?
If you’re sorting through a big job site, you might come across a number of different materials. To help you tell them apart, here are some of the hallmark signs of stainless steel that let you know that’s what you’re working with as opposed to other scrap metals.
One of the quickest ways to determine if you have stainless steel is with the help of a magnet. If the metal is shiny and smooth and a magnet does not stick, there’s a good chance it’s either stainless steel or aluminum. Aluminum tends to be more dull than stainless steel which is helpful for telling the two apart.
Identifying stainless steel with copper sulfate is another way to tell if you have stainless steel, but it’s slightly more involved than the magnet test.
With the copper sulfate method, you remove the oxide layer on the steel. Next, you apply a drop of water and rub it with copper sulfate. In most cases, if there’s no color change after doing this, you’re working with stainless steel. If, however, it turns purple, it’s likely high manganese steel.
Common sources of stainless steel
Now, let’s talk about some of the common sources of stainless steel to help you determine the best place to look for this material. Because of stainless steel’s many impressive qualities, including being strong, easy to clean, and resistant to corrosion, the applications for it are equally impressive. You’ll find stainless steel is utilized in virtually every industry you can think of and for a number of applications that could surprise you.
Did you know stainless steel is also completely recyclable? It can be recycled infinitely, making it an environmentally-friendly material for the fabrication of a number of products.
Common applications for stainless steel include:
- Automotive and transportation, including exhaust systems, grills, and trims
- Medical technology, including operation tables, surgical implants, dental instruments, kidney dishes, MRI scanners, cannulas, and steam sterilizers
- Building construction, including counters, backsplashes, and railings
- Aircraft construction
- Food and kitchens, including utensils, grills, cookers, saucepans, and sinks as well as finishing on freezers, dishwashers, refrigerators, and countertops
- Tankers and vessels manufacturing
How to get cash on site for stainless steel
Let’s say you’ve determined you are in fact working with stainless steel. Your next move is to get cash on site and get the best stainless steel prices per pound.
If you’re in the Fort Pierce area, the best place to do this is at Scrap Gators. As your local Florida scrap metal experts, we buy stainless steel as well as a number of other scrap metals. Even better, we’ll pay cash on site so you can have your money as quickly as possible.
From stainless steel to copper, brass, insulated wire, flat beds, and other projects, there’s no scrap metal job too big or too small for us.
We service commercial and industrial projects large and small. Whether you’re looking to remove outdated mechanical systems, clean out vacant buildings, in the middle of construction and need more space, or simply want to get rid of some extra junk, we have the know-how to make sure your projects run smoothly.
Did you learn a lot from this post discussing stainless steel prices per pound?
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