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TYPES OF STAINLESS STEEL

Type17-4PH General purpose, precipitation-hardening, stainless steel, Low temperature (1000 deg. F approx) "age hardening" produces superior hardness/strength without distortion or scaling. 17-4PH contains16% chromium 3% nickel and is heat treatable. Micro structure is Martensitic.

Type 302 is a slightly higher carbon version of type 304, most commonly found in strip and wire forms. While still used in a variety of industries. Type 302 is not heat treatable its micro structure is Austenitic.

Type 303 is one of the most popular of all the free machining stainless steels. It offers good strength, corrosion resistance and great machinability. Type 303 contains 17% chromium and 8% nickel and is not heat treatable, its micro structure is Austenitic        

Type 304 is one of the most widely used and oldest of the stainless steels. This was originally called 18-8 which stood for its chromium and nickel content. It possesses an excellent combination of strength, corrosion resistance and fabricability. Type 304 contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel and is not heat treatable its micro structure is Austenitic.

Type 316 This austenitic stainless steel has an increased molybdenum content to increase its resistance to corrosion when compared to other 300 series alloys. It will resist scaling at temperatures up to 1600 F. Many people use this material for heat treating applications where hot salt solution is used. 316 is also used in the marine industry because of its resistance to corrosion. Type 316 contains 16% chromium and 10% nickel and 2% molybdenum t is not heat treatable and its micro structure is Austenitic.

Type 316L Much like 316 the "L" means "low carbon", the .035% carbon is a MAXIMUM value, in % by weight, and represents what is not removed during steel making. The advantage of the lower carbon is that it forms less chromium carbide during welding. Chromium is what makes stainless steel stainless, if it is tied up as chromium carbide it cannot prevent corrosion. In the old days it was difficult to get down to .035% so most 316 (and 304) had ~.06% and was subject to "sensitization" during welding. Type 316L contains 16% chromium, 10% nickel, 0.035% carbon and 2% molybdenum it is not heat treatable and its micro structure is Austenitic.

Type416 was the first free machining stainless steel. It is a heat treatable chromium steel with excellent machinability and non-galling characteristics. The alloy is magnetic in all conditions. 416 contains 12% chromium and 0.15% nickel it is heat treatable and its micro structure is austenitic

Type 430 A basic ferritic non-heat treatable stainless steel. Its strengths are in ductility, formability, good corrosion and oxidation resistance, thermal conductivity and finish quality. Type 430 contains 15% chromium and its micro structure is Ferritic

Type 440C This is a high carbon martensitic stainless with moderate corrosion resistance good strength and the ability to obtain and keep excellent hardness (Rc 60) and wear resistance. This is a common material used in knife making. Type 440C contains 12% chromium and 0.95% nickel and is heat treatable and its micro structure is Martensitic.

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Last modified: November 29, 2001