Types of stainless steel

General characteristics

All stainless steel, regardless of class, there is something that unites them — alloying element. It is such elements as chromium, molybdenum, Nickel, niobium, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, manganese, silicon and a number of others, by which it is possible to obtain steel with special properties. In turn, the class of corrosion resistant steels are divided into groups, depending on differences in the proportions of these elements, and microstructure.

Code letter

First of all, indicates the presence of carbon in hundredths of percent. For example, 20KH23N18 steel contains 0.20% carbon. Next, refer to the alloying elements (X) chromium, (H) Nickel, (G) manganese, © silicon, (M) molybdenum (B) tungsten, (T) titanium, (TT) tantalum, (Yu) aluminum, (f) vanadium (D) copper, ® Bor, (a) cobalt, (B) niobium, © Zirconia, (E) selenium. For symbols use uppercase Russian letters, and numbers in the steel grade designation indicate the percentage of a particular element. If after the letter is no figure — element content less than 1%.


All stainless steel depending on the microstructure are divided into five major groups.:

  • austenitic;
  • ferritic;
  • duplex;
  • martensitic;
  • heat resistant.

Austenitic steel

They are the most common, are composed of Nickel in addition to chromium, typically at 18%. Ni improves corrosion resistance and makes. steel is non-magnetic. A distinctive feature of these alloys is the ability to resist corrosion under exposure to high temperatures. This is a group of high-temperature corrosion-resistant steels.

Ferritic steels

This group differs from the previous low chromium content — not more than 17% (compared to austenitic steels — up to 25% Cr) and the presence of carbon. Ferritic steel is magnetic.

Duplex steel

They combine the qualities of austenitic and ferritic groups. The content of alloying element of Nickel is much lower than in the austenitic group — no more than 8%, while the chromium content higher — up to 28%. This ratio gives the steel high hardness, primarily, and relatively high corrosion resistance.

Martensitic steel

This group has one property that distinguishes it from all others is the ability to heat treatment (quenching and tempering) to improve the mechanical properties — in this case we are talking about hardening. Steels included in this group are composed of carbon and the average content of chromium — at 12%. Advanced steels of this group can legirovanija Nickel, niobium and copper.

Heat-resistant (heat-resistant) steel

In their composition. in addition to the alloys include tungsten — the most refractory metal. These alloys are intended primarily for work at high temperatures. Their disadvantage is the low corrosion resistance compared to other steels.

Additional alloying elements

Such «exotic» elements such as zirconium, cobalt, boron, and some others are also used, to give the steels special properties, but because of its high cost of these additives are very rare, and are mostly used by aerospace and military industry. However, the most common are the first two steel groups — austenitic and ferritic.

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