Therser UK Blog

Different Types of Stainless Steel and Their Applications: A Comprehensive Guide

Stainless steel, a remarkably versatile material, offers an array of types, each possessing distinct properties and applications. These types are typically classified according to their metallurgical structure and composition. Let's look into some of the commonly encountered stainless steel types:

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Austenitic Stainless Steel:

  • 304 Stainless Steel (UNS S30400): Commonly used in kitchen equipment and architectural elements.
  • 316 Stainless Steel (UNS S31600): Ideal for marine and chemical processing equipment due to enhanced corrosion resistance.
  • 321 Stainless Steel (UNS S32100): Suited for applications like aircraft exhaust systems, offering better high-temperature strength.
  • 904L Stainless Steel (UNS N08904): Known for high corrosion resistance, especially in acidic environments.

Ferritic Stainless Steel:

  • 409 Stainless Steel (UNS S40900): Used in automotive exhaust systems and some heat exchangers.
  • 430 Stainless Steel (UNS S43000): Found in household appliances like kitchen utensils and sinks.

Martensitic Stainless Steel:

  • 410 Stainless Steel (UNS S41000): Commonly used in cutlery, valves, and pump shafts.
  • 420 Stainless Steel (UNS S42000): Suitable for surgical instruments, dental instruments, and scissors.
  • 440 Stainless Steel (UNS S44000): Known for higher hardness and used in high-end cutlery and bearings.

Duplex Stainless Steel:

  • 2205 (UNS S32205/S31803): Offers a combination of high strength and excellent corrosion resistance, used in chemical processing and offshore oil platforms.
  • 2507 (UNS S32750): Provides even higher corrosion resistance for aggressive environments.
  • Zeron 100 (UNS S32760): Resistant to chloride stress corrosion cracking, used in the oil and gas industry.

Precipitation-Hardening Stainless Steel:

  • 17-4 PH Stainless Steel (UNS S17400): High strength and good corrosion resistance, suitable for aerospace and nuclear applications.
  • 15-5 PH Stainless Steel (UNS S15500): Improved toughness and corrosion resistance, used in valve parts and gears.

Super Austenitic Stainless Steel:

  • AL-6XN (UNS N08367): Excellent resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion, suitable for seawater and chemical processing.
  • 254 SMO (UNS S31254): High resistance to chlorides, used in marine and chemical environments.

Maraging Steel:

  • Maraging 300: Excellent strength and toughness, commonly used in aerospace and defense applications.
  • Maraging 350: Provides even higher strength and is used in demanding aerospace and automotive applications.
  • Maraging 250: Known for superior fracture toughness and impact resistance.

Nitronic Stainless Steel:

  • Nitronic 50 (UNS S20910): Excellent corrosion resistance, used in marine and industrial applications.
  • Nitronic 60 (UNS S21800): High wear resistance, found in applications like pump components and fasteners.

High-Performance Stainless Steel:

  • Carpenter Custom 465 (UNS S46500): High strength and corrosion resistance, often used in aerospace and medical applications.
  • Carpenter 20CB-3 (UNS N08020): Resistant to sulfuric acid, used in chemical processing equipment.

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