"304 Stainless Steel Wire Belts"

Question:

"We have implemented a process that applies natural rubber latex adhesive to our product and subsequently cures the adhesive in an electric infrared oven (400F). However, we are experiencing a build-up of the latex material on the 304 stainless steel wire belt. We are considering 2 alternatives for removing this material - 1) appling a solvent to break down the latex 2) heating the material on the belt to it's crystallization point and brushing it off. We are unsure of the effects of the solvents on the stainless belt. Additionally, we are unsure of safe temperatures to heat the stainless belt. At what temperature and exposure time does this stainless material deform? Will the stainless belt likely rust after heating? This heating process will probably occur once a month."

Answer:

Polar solvents should not cause problems with 304SS. As a precaution, I would avoid chlorinated solvents, though. As for heating 304SS, you don't state what condition the 304SS is in, i.e. cold drawn or annealed. Also, whether the 304 is regular or low-carbon grade. As a general response, the austenitic stainless steels will start to precipitate intergranular carbides at temperatures greater than approximately 800F. This precipitation can result in reduced corrosion resistance in some environments. Heating to temperatures below 800F should not affect 304SS, including rusting.

 

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