An Overview of the Different Types of Stainless Steel
Stainless steel refers to the group of iron-based alloy that consists of different elements in various proportions. However, these constituents determine the different types of stainless steel available in the market. These elements are also responsible for determining the additional features and functionalities of the SS types and their applications.
The composition of stainless steel products is solely responsible for determining its worth in the manufacturing industry. From resistivity towards heat to corrosion, every element and its proportion seem to determine these properties of the material. And if you want to find the best stainless steel products in the market, make sure to get the services from reliable names like Maven Stainless Steel.
Different Types of Stainless Steel & Characteristics
The term “stainless steel” refers to the various iron-based alloys consisting of chromium content. The amount of chromium in stainless steel happens to be the key determining factor for the different types available in the market.
But it isn’t restricted to chromium only. Instead, stainless steel also consists of other materials like carbon, molybdenum, nickel, manganese, etc., which differentiate the material into diverse types. Do you wish to know more? Here are the major types of stainless steel for your reference:
Austenitic Stainless Steel
It happens to be the largest family of SS, which forms around two-thirds of all SS production across the globe. Why are they so named? Well, they are typically called due to the presence of the austenitic microstructure.
It refers to the face-centered cubic crystalline structure formed due to alloying steel with nickel, nitrogen, and/or manganese. Such composition helps in maintaining the microstructure of stainless steel almost at all temperatures. So, heat cannot modify the structures as this type of SS product seems to possess the same chemical structure at nearly every temperature.
This type of stainless steel can be further divided into two major groups, namely 300 and 200 series. The 200 series refer to the chromium, manganese, and nickel alloys which can maximise the usage of manganese and minimise the use of nickel.
Also, due to the nitrogen addition to this series, they offer you 50 per cent higher yield strength than the 300 ones. In the case of 202 grade, there is a sharp reduction in the nickel content. As a result, it demonstrates weak resistance towards the harmful effects of corrosive items.
In the case of the 300 series, the austenitic microstructure mostly comprises nickel alloying. Some of them are highly alloyed and come with high amounts of nitrogen content. It is done to reduce the percentage of nickel requirements in the SS pipe and other products. It is the most used grade of stainless steel that is extensively used worldwide.
Ferritic Stainless Steel
The next type of stainless steel possesses a ferrite microstructure pretty similar to carbon steel. It is a body-centred cubic crystalline structure consisting of 10.5% to 27% chromium and a small nickel amount.
The amount of nickel here is negligible. Also, the presence of the chromium addition, heat treatment cannot harden them. Compared to the austenitic stainless steels, cold work cannot strengthen this type of SS product. Also, this one happens to be magnetic.
The addition of zirconium, niobium, and titanium to 430 Type helps increase the weldability of the material. Also, the near absence of the nickel content makes this one pretty cheaper than the austenitic steels. Most of the automobile SS pipes and tubes are made from this kind. Also, they find applications in the construction industry.
Martensitic Stainless Steel
Martensitic stainless steels include a wide range of magnetic but not corrosion-resistant products as ferritic or austenitic stainless steels. They contain a pretty low chromium content, unlike the rest of the types of stainless steel. Also, they seem to fall into four different categories Fe-Cr-C, Fe-Cr-Ni-C, precipitation hardening, and creep-resisting grades.
The first ones are extensively used in wear-resistant and engineering applications. The next grade of SS tubes and other products finds utility due to its great casting properties, weldability, and proper resistance to cavitation erosion. However, this kind of SS product can be subjected to heat treatments to offer you better and improved properties. Also, the addition of vanadium, niobium, cobalt, and boron helps increase the creep resistance and material strength.
Duplex Stainless Steel
Lastly, the final type of SS products is here. The different SS tubes and products belonging to this type would come with a mixed microstructure. It consists of both the ferrite and austenite microstructures in 50:50 proportions.
These come along with the high chromium content along with molybdenum and lower nickel content. Hence, it offers you twice the value of yield strength than the austenitic types. However, note that the mixed microstructure provides improved resistance to chloride stress corrosion, which is a great alternative to Types 316 and 304.
The duplex ones are further subdivided into three sub-groups which are lean, standard, and super deluxe. These are compartmentalised depending on their corrosion resistance. Also, the properties of these SS tube and pipes are due to the overall low amount of alloy, making them super affordable.
Did you know that the pulp industry was the first one to utilise duplex stainless steel? However, now this type of SS finds usage in the oil and gas industry and other sectors. As it is highly affordable and durable, construction companies are keen on utilising these SS products for building purposes.
If you have gone through the details mentioned above, you are pretty aware of the different types of stainless steel by now. But knowing these details isn’t enough to find a reliable supplier in the market. Instead, you need to research more about the companies available for supplying such products in the market.
One of the reliable platforms that offer you exclusive SS products at incredible rates is none other than Maven Stainless Steel. The company has been one of the leading SS product suppliers in the market. They never fail to deliver superior quality products and yet offer you excellent pocket-friendly prices.
From SS pipe to capsule tubes and PVD coated SS products, you can find it all right here. If you have more questions about the services and products, do contact the brand today.
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