Types of stainless steel
The stainless steel is one of the most used metals and with a great variety of applications thanks to the properties that it possesses: great resistance to the corrosion and durability.
However, as we know, not all types of stainless steel are the same. We will tell you about them below.
Types of stainless steel
We find five types of stainless steels according to their composition.
Austenitic stainless steel
It is the most common type of stainless steel and represents about 70% of all the steels used. They are alloys of iron, chromium, nickel and carbon, and their main characteristics are their high resistance to corrosion and their optimum capacity to withstand extreme temperatures.
This austenitic steel is non-magnetic and can be divided into two sub-types, grade 304 or AISI 304 and grade 316 or AISI 316. 304 is suitable for general applications, while 316 is particularly resistant to corrosion and is used in marine and chemical environments.
Ferritic stainless steel
Ferritic stainless steel contains high levels of chromium (up to 27%), which also gives it excellent corrosion resistance, although not as high as austenitic stainless steel. This type is magnetic and is characterised by its high ductility and ease of forming.
Some of the steels included in this group are AISI 400.
Martensitic stainless steel
This type of stainless steel contains between 10.5% and 18% chromium. Their resistance to corrosion is medium, but they are very resistant mechanically.
The type of stainless steel that characterises this group is AINSI-420, EN 1.4028. These steels undergo structural changes with temperature, so they are usually subjected to quenching and tempering heat treatment. After these processes, they achieve good mechanical properties and sufficient corrosion resistance. Their most characteristic application is cutlery.
Duplex stainless steel
This stainless steel is actually a mixture of austenitic and ferritic steels. Its percentage of chromium exceeds 30%. It has a good weldability, is magnetic and has a good tensile strength.
Of all stainless steels, it is the most corrosion resistant, but also the most expensive.
A small percentage of molybdenum can be added to all stainless steels to improve their resistance to chloride corrosion and other properties.
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