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What is the difference between stainless steel grades

May 26, 2021

There are many grades of stainless steel, and the properties of each grade are different, which leads to different scope of application. Some of the most common stainless steel grades include 304, 316, 409 and 430. But what is the specific difference, let's dig into it in detail.


First, let's discuss the types of stainless steel. According to the metallographic structure of stainless steel at room temperature, it can be divided into four categories:


Austenitic Stainless Steel: The most common type and a good choice for general use. Non-magnetic and has high toughness and plasticity. 201, 202, 301, 304, 316, 309, 321, etc. are austenitic stainless steels.

Ferritic stainless steels: Magnetic and not as corrosion resistant as austenitic stainless steels, but they are stronger and less expensive.

Martensitic stainless steels: are a class of hardenable stainless steels and are resistant to corrosion, but they are sensitive to heat and mechanical treatments. Standard martensitic stainless steels are: Types 403, 410, 414, 416, 416(Se), 420, 431, 440A, 440B and 440C.

Duplex stainless steel: It is a stainless steel with about half of the austenite and ferrite. It has the characteristics of superplasticity. Duplex stainless steel has excellent pitting corrosion resistance and is a nickel-saving stainless steel.


The use of 304 stainless steel

Grade 304 stainless steel is a versatile and versatile alloy. It is a non-magnetic chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steel with good corrosion resistance and strength. It is commonly used in food and beverage applications, as well as in the manufacture of medical and surgical instruments.


The use of 316 stainless steel

316 stainless steel is a versatile and versatile steel. It is a corrosion-resistant steel ideal for use in harsh environments. 316 stainless steel is used in a variety of industries, including marine, aerospace, and medical. It can be found in products such as valves, pumps, fasteners and medical implants. 316 stainless steel is also used in the food and beverage industry, where its corrosion resistance and low magnetic properties make it ideal for aseptic applications.


The use of 409 stainless steel

409 stainless steel has high corrosion resistance and high temperature resistance, and can be used in exhaust systems. And because of its high temperature resistance, it can achieve a high-efficiency exhaust system and reduce the thickness of the exhaust system to save energy and reduce exhaust emissions, and the cost of 409 stainless steel is low, the yield is high, and it is easy to replace. It is also used by many people today. It is generally used in automobile exhaust emission devices to ensure the exhaust emission of automobiles and the good use of automobile tail parts. It is also often used in many other industries. Such as household heating furnaces, farm installations, fuel filters, etc., which require high temperature resistance.


The use of 430 stainless steel

430 stainless steel is a ferritic stainless steel that contains chromium and nickel. It has good corrosion resistance and formability. It is used in a variety of applications including food processing, chemical production and architectural decoration. 430 stainless steel is a lower cost option compared to other grades of stainless steel. Its composition is similar to 304 stainless steel, which makes it less resistant to corrosion and less formable.


Steel Processing Services

Once you have selected a stainless steel grade, there are a variety of processes to choose from. We can provide the following services: slitting, cutting to length, pre-coating, embossing, perforating, etc.

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