McHone Industries Blog

Stainless Steel Grades Chart PDF -- Types of Stainless Steel

stainless steel grades chart.jpeg

Stainless steel is a material with tons to offer. Its popularity also means there are seemingly a million different stainless steel grades. (Actually, there a few hundred.)

As a general rule, stainless deserves consideration if your engineering project requires at least one of these qualities:

  • A shiny, beautiful appearance
  • Corrosion and oxidation resistance
  • Strength at various temperatures

 

Stainless Steel Grades Chart

GRADE

TYPE

TRAITS

USES

3CR12

Ferritic

Useful corrosion resistance, particularly in wet abrasion environments. Readily welded and formed.

Tanks, flues, bins, chutes, rail wagons

201

Austenitic

Low nickel, high work hardening.

Cookware, hose clamps

301

Austenitic

Combination of strength and ductility to withstand severe forming methods. Corrosion resistance comparable to 302.

Rail cars, automotive components

302

Austenitic

Excellent corrosion resistance. High strength and hardness.

Food and drink, sanitary, cryogenic and pressure applications

303

Austenitic

Addition of sulfur or selenium gives it best machinability of all austenitic grades, but reduces corrosion resistance compared to 304.

Nuts and bolts, aircraft fittings and gears, bushings

304

304L

304H

Austenitic

Slightly magnetic when cold worked. Excellent corrosion resistance but susceptible to pitting corrosion in warm chloride environments. Excellent toughness

Accounts for 50% of all stainless steel produced.

Architecture, kitchens, food processing

309S

Austenitic

Resistant to oxidation.

Heating, furnace parts

316

316L

316H

Austenitic

Same mechanical and physical properties as 304 but more resistant to pitting corrosion, especially in warm chloride environments. Virtually non-magnetic.

Marine architectural components, food processing, hot water systems

317L

Austenitic

Improved corrosion resistance over 316. 317L is a variation of 317 suitable for heavy-gauge welding.

Pulp and paper machinery, ink and dying processes, acetic acid distillation

321

Austenitic

Titanium-stabilized.

Aircraft, heat exchangers (up to intermediate temperatures)

400

Ferritic

Corrosion resistance comparable to 409, better surface finish

Caskets, applications requiring better finish than 409

409, Aluminized 409

Ferritic

Resists atmospheric and automotive exhaust gas corrosion. Aluminized version adds salt and cosmetic corrosion resistance.

Auto exhaust systems, heat exchangers, furnace liners

410, 410H

Martensitic

Resists dry atmospheres, freshwater, mild alkalis and acids, steam, and hot gases. Must harden for best heat and corrosion resistance. 410H has better hardenability.

Bolts, nuts, screws, pump parts and shafts, turbine parts, mine ladder rungs, cutlery, rulers, cold heading

420, 420HC

Martensitic

Good resistance in hardened condition to atmosphere. Higher-carbon grade. HC offers better hardenability.

Cutlery, surgical instruments, needle valves

430, 430F

Ferritic

Good combination of corrosion resistance, formability, mechanical properties. 430F is suitable for high-speed machining, but corrosion resistance is lower.

Automotive trim, refrigerator doors, element supports, cold-headed fasteners

431

Martensitic

Excellent resistance to wide variety of corrosive media, approaching that of 304. High tensile, torque strength.

Pump and boat shafts, nuts, bolts, marine hardware

434

Ferritic

Molybdenum use improves pitting resistance over 430.

Automotive trim components

435 Mod.

Ferritic

Improved formability and weldability.

Automotive trim

436

Ferritic

Controlled roping.

Automotive trim

439

Ferritic

Titanium-stabilized. 18% chrome alloy with low carbon content. Corrosion resistance to variety of oxidizing environments. Pitting corrosion resistance.

Nuclear, automotive, power generation, chemical processing, consumer appliances

440

Martensitic

High-carbon, moderate corrosion resistance, superior strength and hardness.

Knives, ball bearings, gauge blocks, dies

444

Ferritic

Resistant to oxidation, corrosion, and stress cracking.

Water heaters, engine components, solar panels

904L

Austenitic

‘Super austenitic’ grade with very high corrosion resistance, especially to strong acids and chlorides.

Sulphuric acid service

2205

Ferritic/
Austenitic

About 50% ferrite and 50% austenitic. High strength and hardness. Resistant to erosion, fatigue, stress corrosion cracking, and pitting and crevice corrosion.

Marine, chemical, and petrochemical industries

41003

Ferritic

Excellent weldability, toughness, and fabricating characteristics

Tubing for bus frames, hopper cars, chutes, storage tanks, shipping containers

UR52N

Ferritic/
Austenitic

‘Super duplex’ grade with exceptional resistance to hot chlorides and sulfides. High in strength.

Marine, chemical, and petrochemical industries

 

SS Grades: What’s It All Mean?

Stainless steel grades are lumped into classes -- the main ones being austenitic, ferritic, and martensitic. The metalworking powers-that-be developed these classes to consolidate chemical and mechanical properties into categories based on the needs of customers’ uses.

1. Austenitic Steels

Austenitic steels mainly reside in the 200 and 300 series. Austenitics are the most specified stainless steel grades thanks to their excellent formability and corrosion resistance.

Austenitic stainless steels contain 15%-30% chromium and 2%-20% nickel for better surface quality, corrosion and wear resistance, and workability. They are nonmagnetic when annealed but -- depending on the nickel content and other composition factors --- can become slightly magnetic when cold worked.

You may notice “L” or “H” attached to some of the grades. “L” denotes low carbon content, which equals increased corrosion resistance. “H” denotes high carbon content, a sign of increased strength.

2. Ferritic Steels

This group of 400-series steels contains 10.5%-20% chromium for corrosion protection and resistance to scaling at high temperatures. Heat treating won’t harden them, and they are always magnetic. Carbon content is low. Ferritic stainless is used in cases where resistance to corrosion is key.

3. Martensitic Steels

These steels, also of the 400 series, usually contain 11.5%-18% chromium and have higher levels of carbon than their ferritic counterparts. Heat treatment of these steels can result in a wide range of useful hardness and strength levels.

Know Your Materials Well

You can see that different stainless steel grades are born to play different roles in metalworking. Make sure your application meshes well with your metal of choice.

Deciding between the two most popular stainless tubing grades, 304 and 316? Check out our guide to their key differences. Need more clarification on what separates 316 and 316L? Keep reading here. Remember, the wrong ingredients can make your project a bad batch from the start.

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