Stainless Steel Stunners

Why Stainless?

We don’t work with stainless as often as mild steel, but when we do the results are stunning. Here we designed and manufactured four custom hydraulic cylinders to suit our customer’s pulp and paper application.

Stainless steel hydraulic cylinders are used in applications where corrosion resistance is the top priority. A standard cylinder is manufactured using steel, such as 1026, 1045 and 4140, which are all vulnerable to rust in humid environments or in the presence of harsh chemicals. Even when treated with specialty coatings, carbon steel components can corrode when the surface is compromised.

In this particular application, the chemical by-product of the pulping process is extremely corrosive to steel. Stainless steel comes to the rescue, extending the life of hydraulic components in such a demanding environment. Although more costly than mild steel, stainless was the best option in theis application.

Machining Considerations

While stainless steel has outstanding corrosion and heat resistance, it is generally more challenging to machine when compared to carbon steels and non-ferrous alloys. Known as the “endmill killer”, it is not forgiving and can quickly turn a work piece into scrap metal. Stainless is prone to work hardening if not machined correctly. This means the material’s hardness can exceed the tool’s hardness and catastrophic failure of tool can occur.

To overcome this, we utilize high-speed machining techniques and hard chrome plating for increased wear resistance and longer life. With a perfectly balanced speed and feed, stainless is no match for our experience and capability.


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Since 1990, RHK has been manufacturing hydraulic cylinders for a wide range of industries. Our Sales and Engineering team has extensive experience and is standing by to develop a custom solution for your application.

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