Stainless steel is not the only material that is used in preparing shims. Though there are many other materials, steel is highly preferable for many reasons. Materials like PTFE, brass; copper and even paper is used for making shims. But stainless steel happens to be one of the most preferable materials because of its durability and better life. Shins are thin strips made of the mentioned materials which are used in aligning parts of the machines. The material for the shin is chosen depending on the type of project. Stainless steel happens to be favorable for most type of projects.
Stainless steel as a material for shim
A special steel alloy containing minimum 10.5% of chromium is called stainless steel. Depending on the microstructure, stainless steel has 5 different categories. This material is not only great for shims but also for other purposes.
Less wear and tear
Wearing and tearing is very common but also problematic for any machinery. To lessen the amount of wear and tear, it is necessary to choose right products and materials in order to have the machinery work properly for long. When it comes to stainless steel, there are a few things to talk about. Iron reacts with oxygen which causes rust, hence wear and tear. But the alloying elements of stainless steel create a stable yet thin layer when it comes into contact with water and air.
As this happens, this layer becomes the protective layer against rust which causes even more corrosion. This metal is also more durable than many other materials used for shims. While brass is softer and more prone to dent and scratches, it will also get tarnished as it comes in contact with water. But stainless steel is capable of maintaining an aesthetic appeal for longer.
Steel in different industries
Stainless steel has gained all the attention in the world of aerospace industry. As aircrafts have to face the harsh aerospace environment, it is no wonder that stainless steel shim plate (แผ่น ชิม, this is the term in Thai) is perfect for this industry. This metal is used in wing assembling, landing gear hardware and in many other parts; a shim made of stainless steel is useful in the torque as it couples in shock strut. In the auto industry, shims are used to achieve different purposes. A shim can solve the alignment issue when it gets placed between the wheel and the axle. Though one might feel that a plastic shim would be enough, plastic will wear faster over a certain period of time. But a stainless-steel shim can stand normal wear and tear.
Caring for the nature has become more important than it ever was. Companies have also started to walk the road of sustainability. Stainless steel is a product that is 100% recyclable. It in fact comes from 60% of recycled material. When the shims finally reach the end of their life, they will be used for making many more. The alloying materials can be separated to use over and over again.