Differences Between Grades of Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel

Adding chromium and nickel to carbon steel is what makes steel stainless. These elements inhibit corrosion and rust. Manufactures also add elements such as molybdenum, manganese, vanadium, carbon and silicon. This mix of components makes up the three digit numbering system that identifies stainless steel.

200-Series Stainless Steel

This series of stainless steel has 17-percent chromium, 4-percent nickel and 7-percent manganese added to steel. The 200-series steels have an austenitic structure. This refers to the crystal structure of the material. Austenitic stainless steels have a higher chromium and nickel content. Austenitic stainless steels weld easier than other stainless steels. This metal is magnetic after heating.

300-Series Stainless Steel

The 300 series has 18-percent chromium and 8-percent nickel added to the steel. Stainless steel with this mix uses 18-8 as its name as well as the 300-series number. These steels aren't attracted to magnets. This is an austenitic stainless steel, so it is easier to weld than some other stainless steels. It can be made magnetic. The 304 grade is the most commonly used stainless steel, and the 316 grade is the second most common. Both have the same general characteristics of the 300 series. Tableware, cooking utensils, food processing equipment, food preparation and mild chemical applications use this stainless steel.

400-Series Stainless Steel

This group of stainless steels has an addition of 11 percent chromium and 1-percent manganese. The 400 series is susceptible to rust and corrosion under some conditions. Heat-treating will harden the 400 series. The 400 series of stainless steels have a martensitic crystalline structure that has higher carbon content. This provides high strength and high wear resistance. The welds will deteriorate as the carbon content increases. Martensitic stainless steels aren't as corrosion resistant as the austenitic types.

We, JAWAYSTEEL CORPORATION is the original manufacturer of stainless steel products, if you have any further questions or inquiry please feel free to contact us.

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