FAQ’s | Calbrite


Stainless steel is the highest quality, most durable, easiest to install, UL-Listed conduit material available. Corrosion damages equipment and costs companies in downtime and expensive maintenance and repairs. Stainless steel conduit systems, designed for harsh environments are the material of choice due to:
  • Corrosion-resistance
  • Longevity
  • Lowest total cost of ownership
  • Environmentally-friendly
  • Ease of installation
What does this mean to you? Stainless steel provides a reliable, durable conduit that ensures uptime, increases productivity and provides a long service life in industrial and commercial applications. In short, stainless steel offers significant cost savings over alternative conduit and fittings.
Stainless is often the first choice for applications in hospitals, kitchens, clean rooms, potable water or beverage & food processing plants, petrochemical & refining facilities, pulp & paper production, wastewater treatment plants, mining and other facilities with stringent requirements.

Type 304 Stainless

  • Approximately 18% chromium and 8% nickel
  • Material specified more than 50% of the time whenever a stainless steel is used
Why / Where Used:
  • Ease of cleaning, ease of fabrication, beauty of appearance
  • Excellent in a wide range of atmospheric environments
  • Corrosion/ oxidation resistance due to the chromium content
  • Food Processing – Breweries

Type 316 Stainless

  • Approximately 16% chromium, 12% nickel, 3% Molybdenum
  • "Moly" increases resistance to withstand attack by many industrial chemicals and solvents and in particular, inhibits pitting caused by chlorides
Why / Where Used:
  • Where the possibility of severe corrosion exists
  • Pulp & Paper – Marine Environments – Wastewater Treatment
Due to their high ductility, the annealed austenitic stainless steels can be bent to equally small bend radii, gauge for gauge, as galvanized steel. Dies should be given a high polish and must be free from all surface blemishes to prevent marring the finish of the stainless steel parts. The power necessary to bend annealed stainless steel is 50 to 60 percent more than is needed for carbon steel. All metal has a certain amount of spring-back, also known as elastic recovery and 300 series stainless conduit has approximately 5% more than its galvanized steel counterparts. Calbrite ½'' - 4'' standard radius elbows, in types 304 and 316, are kept in stock at our various locations. Offsets, segments, and sweeps can be made-to-order and are recommended factory ordered in the larger diameters.
Minimal amounts of cutting and threading stainless conduit in the field with standard field equipment will suffice on smaller to moderate-sized jobs or modifications. For larger applications, we recommend purchasing stainless steel threading dies and threading oil for better results and to reduce the chance of possible machinery malfunctions. Calbrite can also quickly supply any custom length nipple upon request.
Yes. With our quick turn-around manufacturing capabilities, we can fill most orders from stock in 2 to 3 days, often overnight.
Yes, we will. For convenience to our customers and their projects, we will ship our products wherever needed as soon as possible.
Calbrite sells only to authorized stocking and non-stocking electrical distributors. You can use our Rep Locator to locate a distributor in your area. Any wholesaler that would like to become a Calbrite distributor should contact our sales office for further information.
Yes. Our stainless steel rigid conduit is UL/CUL 6A Listed under file number E230584 and is inclusive for installation in accordance with Article 344 of ANSI/NFPA70, "National Electrical Code" (NEC). Calbrite's stainless steel couplings, elbows, and nipples are also UL / CUL 6A Listed under the same file number.
A vast majority of our products are either made in the USA or meet the requirements of the American Recovery and Reconstruction Act (ARRA). Most of the products that do not are stainless steel accessories such as screws, nuts, bolts, etc. Calbrite is committed to serving our customers with material that is made in the USA and we continue to invest in machinery and personnel to increase the percentage of our material that is manufactured in the USA Currently, in excess of 90% of our sales are from made in USA / ARRA compliant material.
Calbrite has a national network of sales representatives serving customers across the USA and Canada. Feel free contact the sales representative closest to your location anytime. If there is not a sales representative in your area, please contact our Calbrite sales office in Hammond, IN. (219) 844-6800.
Calbrite sells standard box quantities on certain accessories only, i.e. nuts, bolts, and washers. With conduit, fittings, straps, and clamps our customers are welcome to order their exact quantities needed for their current projects. However, we do have a $100.00 minimum on all orders.
Calbrite's stainless conduit threads are manufactured with standard NPT conduit threads and to UL 6A specifications.
The Calbrite "polished" finish is produced by mechanically abrading the surface with a series of gradually finer abrasives and a special rolling procedure that simulates the appearance of mechanical abrasion. The polished finish is then buffed after mechanical polishing to produce a mirror-like appearance. Although Calbrite's finish is a considered a custom style of finish, its closest resemblance is a number 4 architectural finish. Calbrite stainless conduit and fittings are polished to a bright, easily maintained finish that is modern, attractive and easy to clean; that also enhances the surface's resistance to pitting and bacterial corrosion.
Hobart, IN – Rancho Dominguez, CA – Oldsmar, FL Calbrite's stainless steel conduit is manufactured and distributed within three strategically located manufacturing and distributing facilities throughout the USA. These three facilities allow for 24 to 48 hour delivery on most products throughout the continental USA.
Industry standard 10' conduit lengths are too long to ship via ground carriers, i.e. UPS or FedEx, therefore Calbrite offers 5' conduit lengths to resolve this situation. The 5' lengths include one coupling per piece and can be shipped overnight or 2nd-day air.
Yes, with our stainless steel rigid conduit. One coupling is included per each length sold.
Yes. We can provide any custom length required. Any size is available from a close nipple all the way up to 20' in length.
Calbrite's IMC is slightly more impact resistant compared with EMT and can be manufactured with threads. Non-threaded IMC and EMT are joined together by either stainless IMC or EMT compression fittings. IMC and stainless rigid conduit have similar outside diameters, but the wall thickness of IMC is thinner compared to rigid. EMT attains separate inside and outside diameters and wall thicknesses altogether. EMT conduit also weighs less compared to IMC. Both styles of conduit are non-threaded and are joined together by either stainless IMC or EMT compression fittings. By utilizing compression fittings, they both offer lower costs and simplified installations. Both styles are easily cut and bent using standard tools.
The difference between the two is in the color only. Some customers prefer the traditional gray color (standard PVC coated), while others prefer using the clear coating. The clear coating allows for visibility of the stainless core in the harsh or corrosive environment it may be installed in. Both coatings are manufactured from the same composition of PVC. Both are NEMA 4X approved for damp locations and are compatible for use with our flex connectors.
The addition of the PVC coated jacket extruded over the stainless core not only allows for greater resistance to a wide range of oils, greases and contaminants – it is rated for NEMA 4X / damp environments – in which the bare flex is not. Both styles of our stainless flexible conduit provide excellence corrosion resistance and are extremely flexible with smooth interiors, for ease of installation and wire pull thru. Both styles are suitable for corrosive environments, including pumps, motors, HVAC systems, machine tools, electrical housings, and cabinetry. Calbrite's stainless steel flexible conduit also provides great absorption of motion and vibration.
Small amounts of deterioration to the PVC coating begin at approximately 275° F. The stainless core can withstand up to approximately 1600° F.
Yes. A cover, gasket, and screws are included with all models.
Calbrite's stainless steel conduit bodies are a form 8 style.
Yes. The degree of bends available are: 11-1/4°, 15°, 22-1/2°, 30°,45°, 90° Large radius stainless elbows are also available upon request in 24", 36", 48" and 60"?
Our stainless steel male compression connectors and compression unions are compatible for use with both rigid and IMC. These fittings are designated with a yellow plastic ferrule. EMT compression fittings are compatible for use with stainless EMT conduit only. The EMT compression fittings are designated with a red plastic ferrule.
Yes. Calbrite's stainless steel flex connectors are designed to work with the bare, PVC coated and clear coated flexible conduit. The fittings, when used with both styles of the coated flex, allow for a NEMA 4X approved system.
Calbrite's stainless steel flex connectors have been designed for use with Calbrite's stainless steel bare, PVC coated and clear coated flex conduit only. Although we believe other manufacturer's flex conduit may be compatible, we have not performed any tests to define their individual compatibility.
Stainless Steel body can withstand up to approx. 1600° F. Rubber O-Ring can withstand approx. 600° F. White Plastic Ferrule (internal) can withstand approx. 450° F. Insulated Plastic Throat (inside the male thread) can withstand approx. 350° F.
Yes. One locknut is included with each flex connector sold.
Calbrite's stainless steel couplings are manufactured with standard NPSM (straight) threads. The couplings are also fabricated to the strict guidelines set forth by UL and our UL 6A Listed and approved. File # E230584.
Calbrite's UL Listed device box covers and plates have not been tested or approved for damp locations at this time. This is why Calbrite has developed a stainless steel single-gang weatherproof in-use box with a lockable cover that is ideal for corrosive and harsh environments such as wash-down applications and wastewater treatment plants. The casted, type-316 stainless steel receptacle cover is fully compliant with the National Electrical Code (NEC) and NEMA 4X requirements. The stainless steel weatherproof box is available in a shallow lid model (S60000FVSC) and a deep lid model (S60000FVDC). Both versions are specially designed for use with single-gang and duplex switch and GFCI requirements. The stainless steel in-use box mounts to all Calbrite single-gang junction boxes.
Our stainless steel threaded rod is sold in 12' lengths.
  • Properly installed stainless steel can remain effective against corrosion for up to 100 years in many harsh environments.
  • The installed maintenance cost and total life-cycle cost of stainless steel are significantly lower than PVC coated.
  • PVC's toxicity makes it unsuitable for use near many foods and potable water processes. Unlike PVC coated products, stainless steel does not burn or emit dangerous smoke and carcinogens.
  • If the coating on the conduit is damaged during installation or maintenance, the rigid steel will be exposed. In strict corrosive environments, the galvanized conduit will quickly become deteriorated, often leaving just a PVC shell.
  • The risk of the PVC coating to "flake off" makes it unsuitable in food and beverage processing facilities.
  • 100% of stainless steel material in a typical installation can be recycled – PVC coated conduit is not considered recyclable.
  • Stainless steel does not have any of the labor-intensive procedures that come with PVC coated installations, nor the complicated maintenance and repair procedures.
While aluminum is a corrosion resistant alternative to galvanized conduit, stainless steel holds up against the rigorous wash-down procedures and chemical treatments required in applications such as clean rooms, food processing plants and potable water facilities. In fact, Calbrite's in-house testing found stainless steel to last two to five times longer than aluminum depending upon the application and the environment. Stainless steel provides excellent resistance to a wide range of corrosives, extreme temperatures and most atmospheric and industrial environments.
Yes. Stainless steel can be exposed to temperatures as low as liquid nitrogen and up to approximately 1600° F.
For use indoors and outdoors to primarily provide a degree of protection against corrosion, windblown dust and rain, splashing water, hose-directed water and damage from external ice formation.
The Calbrite stainless products that are currently approved for NEMA 4X / damp locations are: EMT compression fittings, compression fittings, conduit bodies, stainless steel PVC and clear flex conduit, flex male straights and 90's,in-use box, and cord grips.
Galvanic corrosion is a form of localized corrosion, which happens whenever two metals or alloys, with a potential difference of at least 50 mV, are in direct contact with each other and with a corrosive electrolyte. The least noble of the two metals or alloys will become the anode in the corrosion reaction. Therefore, in a corrosive environment, stainless steel will cause the "weaker" alloy (such as aluminum or galvanized) to accelerate its corrosion rate possibly two to three times, depending on the environment.
In addition to iron, carbon, and chromium, stainless steel may also contain other elements, such as nickel, niobium, and molybdenum. Nickel, molybdenum, niobium, and chromium enhance the corrosion resistance of stainless steel. It is the addition of a minimum of 10.5% chromium to the steel that makes it resist rust, or stain 'less' than other types of steel. The chromium in the steel combines with oxygen in the atmosphere to form a thin, invisible layer of chrome-containing oxide, called the passive film. The sizes of chromium atoms and their oxides are similar, so they pack together on the surface of the metal, forming a stable layer only a few atoms thick. If the metal is cut or scratched and the passive film is disrupted, more oxide will quickly form and recover the exposed surface, protecting it from oxidative corrosion. (See the Stainless Steel Industry of North America for more information)
Stainless does not "rust" as you think of regular steel rusting with a red oxide on the surface that flakes off. If you see red rust it is probably due to some iron particles that have contaminated the surface of the stainless steel and it is these iron particles that are rusting. Look at the source of the rusting and see if you can remove it from the surface. If the iron is embedded in the surface, you can try a solution of 10% nitric and 2% hydrofluoric acid at room temperature or slightly heated. Wash area well with lots and lots of water after use. Commercially available "pickling paste" can also be used. See "The Care and Cleaning of Stainless Steel" for more information. Source: http://www.ssina.com/faq/index.html#3
The 300 series of stainless steels contain enough nickel to render them non-magnetic. All of the stainless steels from the 300 series are non-magnetic. This has resulted in the misconception that all stainless steels are non-magnetic. But the fact remains that stainless steels from the other series such as 200, 400, PH, duplex etc have higher percentages of ferrite and are therefore magnetic. All Calbrite stainless conduit is non-magnetic.
This is due to process of casting certain fittings. The magnetic behavior of stainless steels varies considerably, ranging from paramagnetic (nonmagnetic) in fully austenitic grades to hard or permanent magnetic behavior in the hardened martensitic grades. Stainless steel have not found widespread use solely as magnetic materials since their magnetic capability is almost always inferior to conventional magnetic materials. However, there are circumstances and applications where the magnetic or nonmagnetic behavior can significantly influence fabrication and use of these alloys. The magnetic properties of materials are affected by their composition, metallic structure, processing methods and physical condition. Ferromagnetic materials are strongly attracted to a permanent magnet and may also be magnetized to act as a permanent magnet. Permeability is the property used to measure how well a material concentrates the magnetic field. It gives an indication of the strength of the attraction to a magnet. It is more usual to refer to the relative permeability. This is measured relative to the value for air or vacuum taken as 1. Castings have subtly different compositions than the "equivalent" wrought alloys. The austenitic alloys typically have a few percent ferrite and are weakly attracted to a magnet, ie they are ferromagnetic. Ferritic, martensitic and duplex casting alloys have similar magnetic properties to their wrought counterparts.
Calbrite has been advised by Underwriters Laboratory that the determination of this question must be made by the local AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) only. UL stated that Calbrite stainless steel conduit is manufactured in accordance with UL 6A requirements and any product applied to the approved conduit in the field, cannot reflect on the manufacturers UL Listed product. However, we believe that previous end-users of Calbrite stainless steel conduit have used compounds or lubricants before in corrosive applications and we have currently not received any negative feedback from these results.
Type 304 and 316 stainless steel have excellent corrosion resistance, often far superior to any other conduit system available. Cleaning solution and/or water supplies will sometimes contain chlorine or hydrochloric acid added to prevent bacterial growth, as it is important to use a material that will resist corrosion by such harsh chemicals. Type 316 stainless steel is extremely effective in resisting this corrosion. Stainless steel is a very clean material and can be easily sanitized. If dead spaces are minimized and surface polished to eliminate crevices and pits, bacteria growth is minimized. Halogen salts, especially chlorides easily penetrate stainless steels invisible passive film and can allow a corrosive attack to occur. Listed in order of their activity they are: *fluorine *chlorine *bromine *iodine *astatine The heat, humidity and the percentage of the chemical present can enhance the corrosiveness of these chemicals. Regular cleaning is the best way to prevent corrosion and add to the service life of your conduit system. The goal of your cleaning and maintenance program should be to keep the stainless steels protective chromium oxide layer intact. This is what prevents corrosion.
Stainless steel is 100% recyclable. All stainless steel can be re-melted to make new stainless steel. Stainless also contains valuable materials, such as chromium, nickel, and molybdenum, which makes recycling stainless economically viable as well.