17-7 Stainless Steel Tubing: A Great Alternative
I’ve been working on some innovative devices and delivery systems lately. As these devices become more complex with longer lengths and thinner walls, we often design in a 300-series stainless steel tube for strength without giving up too much real estate in the device.
Recently, I came across 17-7 SS as an alternate solution, and was surprised by some of the material properties that allowed us to optimize the product design. Compared to 304 SS, 17-7 has a higher tensile strength, improved machinability, weldability and magnetic permeability.
I often find real-life examples helpful when I’m learning about new technologies that give me a framework and understanding of how it may apply to the products I’m developing. Here’s one from Accu-Tube’s recent whitepaper on Metal Tubing Specs:
A customer came to Accu-Tube looking for help designing a next-generation orthopedic driver. Early testing of the device using 304 tubing resulted in mechanical failure with a fixed ID and OD due to the interaction of the tube with the balance of the device. The customer needed a stronger tube, and 304 or 316 alloys would not meet that goal. Accu-Tube’s team suggested exploring 17-7 as an alternative. With a higher tensile strength than 304 and the ability to heat treat to further increase its strength, 17-7 looked very attractive on paper.
The Accu-Tube team worked for 3 months to develop the entire manufacturing process, and the result was a tube that exceeded the performance requirements of the design.
Interested in learning more about 17-7? Check out Accu-Tube’s website. Or try 17-7 out for yourself to see if it works for your project. We have ~60 in-stock skus or you can request a custom component.
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