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Industry dynamics

Stainless Steel Types
  • 2016-10-29

· 303 stainless steel is an austenitic alloy that has sulfur and/or selenium added to create a free-machining stainless steel. 303 stainless steels take less time to machine, resulting in longer lasting machine tool bits and lower production cost.

· 304 stainless steel is an austenitic alloy that is easily formed and welded but is not a free-machining material. 304 stainless steel is commonly used for sheet metal products that are not subject to harsh environments.

· 304L stainless steel is one of the most frequently used austenitic alloys in the stainless steel family. 304L stainless steel is utilized when parts are to be welded, especially if the weld might come in contact with chlorinated water.

· 305 stainless steel is an austenitic alloy that is very corrosion resistant and has a higher nickel content. 305 stainless has a decreased tendency to work-harden during the cold heading process.

· 316 stainless steel is a non-magnetic material that contains molybdenum and a higher nickel content. 316 stainless steel, an austenitic alloy, is very corrosion resistant but is subject to attack if exposed to high levels of chlorine for a long period of time.

· 316L stainless steel is a highly corrosion resistant austenitic alloy that is second only to 304 stainless steel in importance. 316L stainless steel is commonly used in heavy gauge welded components, as it offers higher creep, stress-to-rupture and tensile strength at elevated temperatures.

· 384 stainless steel has a very high nickel content and is very corrosion resistant to chlorides. 384 stainless steel, an austenitic alloy, cold heads well.

·  Austenitic stainless steel is comprised of chromium and nickel and is used in mild, harsh and corrosive environments. Austenitic stainless steel alloys account for about 70% of the stainless steel family.

· Duplex stainless steels, along with the elements iron, chromium and nickel, contain molybdenum, nitrogen, copper and very little carbon. Duplex stainless steel has double the strength of austenitic stainless steel and better corrosion resistance than martensitic stainless steel.

· Ferrite stainless steel (type 430) consists of only iron and chromium. Ferrite stainless steel is magnetic, cannot be hardened and is used mainly in decorative trim and mufflers for vehicles.

· Martensitic stainless steels (types 403, 414 and 420) have low chromium levels and high carbon content but do not contain nickel. Martensitic stainless steel is a magnetic material that has reduced corrosion resistance but can be heat-treated to provide high strength and toughness characteristics.

· Precipitation-hardened stainless steels are chromium-nickel grades that can be strengthened and hardened by adding such elements as copper and aluminum in an aging treatment at elevated temperatures.

· Stainless steel alloys offer higher corrosion resistance due to their ability to develop a passivation layer of chromium oxide on their outer surface, effectively coating the steel and protecting it from the harmful oxidation that occurs between exposed iron and oxygen molecules in the air.

· Stainless steel bars are solid pieces of various grade stainless steels that are rolled from billets. Stainless steel bars can be hot or cold finished and formed into rounds, squares, hexagons, octagons or flats.

· Stainless steel coil is a rolled product that is formed from stainless steel strip. 

· Stainless steel foil offers increased corrosion resistance, strength and electrical resistance as compared to traditional metal foils such as aluminum and copper foil.

· Stainless steel qrades are categorized into six different series: 100 series, 200 series, 300 series, 400 series, 500 series and 600 series.

· Stainless steel pipes are tubes that are used to transport gases or liquids. Stainless steel pipes are much longer lasting than similar products consisting of other metals, because of the corrosion resistance of the material.

· Stainless steel plates have a width over eight inches and a thickness from one quarter of an inch to over a foot.

· Stainless steel rods are long cylinder-shaped objects made of stainless steel.

· Stainless steel sheets are large, thin slices of stainless steel. Usually rectangular or square shaped, stainless steel sheets offer the flexibility of being custom fabricated or molded.

· Stainless steel suppliers provide the rods, sheets, and plates used in the assembly of many products.

· Stainless steel strip is a flat-rolled, very thin sheet of stainless steel.

· Stainless steel tube ranges in size from less than .01 inches to more than six inches in diameter.

· Stainless steel wires offer good strength-to-weight ratios, as well as rustproof performance. Common diameters of stainless steel wires range anywhere from .01 inches to 1-1/16 inches.

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