4 Different Types of Stainless Steel Explained

Different Types of Stainless Steel

There are many various types of stainless steel on the market nowadays, as you may or may not be aware.

After all, all a metal alloy that needs to be classified as stainless steel is to have at least 10.5 percent chromium; tons of alloys possess this quantity of chromium.

Furthermore, Stainless steel is a metal alloy made by mixing several different base metals to form a new material. The finished product, like other alloys, is far more potent than each of the raw components would be on its own.

Stainless steel comes in various types, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Stainless steel species are often classified into one of four classes.

So please read on as we discuss the different types of stainless steel.

1. Austenitic Stainless Steel

Austenitic stainless steels are one of the most common types of stainless steel. Also, Austenitic stainless steels have a very high nickel concentration compared to other forms of stainless steel.

They will typically have high levels of chromium, nitrogen, and molybdenum. Also, austenitic steels are known for being extraordinarily malleable and weldable.

They’re commonly utilized for kitchen cutlery and storage components, also known for their robustness. Furthermore, they usually have a high level of corrosion resistance.

This makes them suitable for several applications in which a corrosive environment is present. However, the only disadvantage of austenitic stainless steel is its high cost.

Austenitic stainless steels can be divided into: 

  • Grade 304 Stainless Steel: Because of its adaptability, this is the most prevalent type of stainless steel utilized in Marlin Steel’s bespoke wire basket designs. Also, Grade 304 stainless steel is notable among steel alloys for its high tensile strength—roughly 621 MPa (90 ksi). Grade 304, like other stainless steels, has a high maximum operating temperature (about 870°C). Also, Grade 304 stainless steel is appropriate for a wide range of applications due to its high tensile strength, temperature resistance, and corrosion resistance.
  • Grade 316 Stainless Steel: Grade 316 stainless steel is a standard austenitic stainless steel with high tensile strength of 579 MPa (84 ksi) and a maximum use temperature of roughly 800°C (1,472°F). While grade 316 stainless steel has a lower tensile strength and temperature tolerance than grade 304 stainless steel, it is more resistant to chlorides (such as salt) than 304 alloys. As a result, it’s an excellent choice for any application containing salt or other chlorides.

2. Ferritic Stainless Steel

Ferritic stainless steels include a tiny amount of carbon yet are still usable. Carbon content in ferritic stainless steels is typically less than 0.10 percent.

This is one of the different types of stainless steel. However, they can add some other minerals to these steels (molybdenum is a popular addition), but chromium is the main component.

Magnetic ferritic stainless steels are extensively utilized to resist stress corrosion cracking. As a result, they’re frequently used in products that will come into touch with caustic materials.

Automobile components, culinary cookware, and industrial enterprises are among these items.

Ferritic stainless steel can be divided into;

  • Grade 430 Stainless steel: Grade 430 stainless steel has excellent resistance to nitric acid while not as strong as any of the austenitic alloys mentioned above. Although the tensile strength of 450 MPa (65 ksi) is lower than that of austenitic stainless steel, it is sufficient for a wide range of heavy-duty applications.
  • Grade 434 Stainless Steel: 434 stainless steel has a tensile strength of 540 MPa (78 ksi) and a maximum working temperature of 815°C (1,499°F), making it a more robust option to grade 430 stainless steel. Grade 434 stainless steel is marginally better for high-temperature applications than 316 stainless steel, but grade 430 stainless steel is more rigid. In comparison to 430-grade stainless steel, grade 434 has good pitting resistance.

3. Duplex Stainless Steel

Duplex stainless steel is a type of stainless steel that has roughly equal amounts of austenitic and ferritic steel. This form of stainless steel is both stronger and more corrosion resistant than traditional stainless steel.

Duplex stainless steel is more malleable than ferritic stainless steel but not as much as austenitic stainless steel. This is one of the different types of stainless steel.

Also, Duplex stainless steel has a higher chromium concentration and a lower nickel content, which is one of the critical distinctions in composition.

This makes the material more durable, but it also saves money. Duplex stainless steel is frequently utilized in applications such as pipes and risers in offshore oil rigs because of these advantages.

We can further break down duplex stainless steel into different types;

  • Standard Duplex steel: The PREN range for standard duplex steel is 28-38. This is the most common form of duplex steel now in use. Grade EN 1.4462 or 2205 are other names for it.
  • Super Duplex Steel: Super duplex steel was developed in the oil and gas industry and the chemical industry, with a PREN range of 38-45. This type of steel is stronger and more corrosion-resistant than regular duplex steel.
  • Duplex 2507 Stainless steel: Super duplex steel in Duplex 2507 is another type of super duplex steel. Twenty-five percent chromium, 4% molybdenum, and 7% nickel make this material.
  • Zeron 100 stainless steel: Rolled Alloys created Zeron stainless steel, a super duplex stainless steel. Also, it has a chromium content of 25%, nickel content of 7%, and molybdenum content of 3.6 percent. And copper and tungsten additives.
  • Lean Duplex Grades: The PREN range of lean duplex steel is 22-27. And it was designed for use in less demanding applications like general building and construction.

4. Martensitic Stainless Steel

This is one of the different types of stainless steel. Their carbon contents are the only structural differences between martensitic stainless steels and ferritic stainless steels.

While carbon percentages in ferritic stainless steel remain below 0.10 percent, martensitic stainless steel carbon percentages linger around 1%.

Furthermore, this variation in carbon percentages is significant because it enables martensitic stainless steel to be toughened to extremely high levels.

This steel grade is commonly utilized in circumstances that require high strength but moderate corrosion resistance. Also, It’s widely used in valves and pumps, but it has many other applications.

Furthermore, the typical example of Martensitic stainless steel is Grade 420 stainless steel. Grade 420 stainless steel has a tensile strength of roughly 586 MPa when annealed (85 ksi).

The tensile strength of this material increases to around 1,586 MPa after being hardened and stress alleviated (230 ksi).

Furthermore, Grade 420 stainless steel, while not as chemically resistant as the austenitic and ferritic stainless steels mentioned above, has good resistance to mild acids, water, some alkalis, and food chemicals.

This is why it is commonly used for cutlery. When tensile strength and impact resistance are the most critical considerations, 420 stainless steel is an excellent choice.

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