Stainless steel is best known for its work in appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and microwaves. However, do not let this typecasting fool you into thinking that this is all that this steel alloy is capable of. Stainless steel is a very versatile steel and is used in many industries.
Compare and Contrast
There are different types of stainless steels, and they are categorized according to the types and percentages of the different elements in each grade of steel. The types, examples, advantages, and disadvantages include the following:
- Ferritic (410S, 430, 446): The advantages of this type include low cost, good formability, and moderate corrosion resistance. The disadvantages include moderate corrosion resistance and formability and elevated temperature strength compared to austenitics.
- Austenitic (304, 316):The advantages of this type of stainless steel include the fact that it is available widely, it has good cryogenic toughness, and it is generally corrosion resistant. The disadvantages include limited resistance to stress corrosion cracking and formability, and machinability can be limited with work hardening.
- Martensitic (420, 431): The advantages of this type of stainless steel includes a characteristic of being hardenable by heat treatment. The disadvantages include the fact that its weldability is limited and its formability compared to ferritics and corrosion resistance compared to austenitics is limited.
- Precipitation Hardening (17/4PH): The advantages of this type of steel includes the fact that it is hardenable by heat treatment and it has better corrosion resistance than martensitics. The disadvantages are that it has limited availability and it is inferior to austenitics.
- Duplex (1.4462): The advantages of this type of steel include the fact that is has good stress-corrosion-cracking resistance and it also possesses good mechanical strength in an annealed condition. The disadvantages include the fact that its application temperature range is more restricted than austenitics.
We stock popular grades of 300 series (austenitic): 301, 302, 304, 304L, 316, 321, 347 and in a wide range of tempers. Our inventory also includes precipitation hardness grades 17-4 and 17-7 as well as magnetic stainless steel 410 – 430 (martensitic). Many of these materials are also available in perforated or wire mesh.