What Is Stainless Steel? Do My Vents Need It? (Answered)

Stainless steel is a corrosion-resistant metal alloy made up of iron, chromium, nickel, and additional metals.

Stainless steel is sometimes considered the ultimate “green” material because it can be recycled an infinite number of times. And because Up to 100% of the stainless steel can be recycled.

Additionally, stainless steel does not react with other materials, which makes it perfect for sustainable building, and it does not leach.

Stainless steel is beautiful, hygienic, easy to keep, and durable, and offers a number of benefits. Because of this, stainless steel is found in a variety of products.

It is also significant in other sectors, including Energy, Transportation, Construction Research and Medical

The chromium content of stainless steel must be 10.5 percent or above, and carbon should be less than 1.2 percent. A number of additional elements may be used in the fabrication fo stainless steel, including but not limited to:

  • Nickel
  • Molybdenum
  • Titanium
  • Niobium
  • Manganese

maybe added to improve the corrosion resistance and mechanical characteristics of stainless steel.

After the surface of the material is exposed to oxygen, a chromium oxide layer is created. It is protected by this passive layer, which also has the remarkable ability to repair itself.

The stainless steel family is divided into four major categories based on their crystal microstructure.

Ferritic
Ferritic steels are 400 Grade stainless steels that are distinguished by their high chromium content, which can range from 10.5 percent to 27 percent. They also have magnetic properties and are resistant to corrosion, thermal fatigue, and stress-corrosion cracking.

Applications for Ferritic Stainless Steel
Ferritic stainless steels are commonly used in automotive components and parts, the petrochemical industry, heat exchangers, furnaces, and durable goods such as appliances and food equipment.

Austenitic
Austenitic grade steels, the most common type of stainless steel, are high in chromium and contain varying amounts of nickel, manganese, nitrogen, and carbon. Austenitic steels are classified into the 300 series and 200 series subcategories based on the alloys used. The addition of nickel distinguishes the austenitic structure of the 300 series. The manganese and nitrogen additions are the mainstays of the 200 series. The most common stainless steel grade is 304.

Applications of Austenitic Stainless Steel
It is used in kitchen equipment, cutlery, food processing equipment, and structural components in the automotive and aerospace industries. It is sometimes referred to as 18/8 because it contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Another common stainless steel is grade 316. Food preparation equipment, laboratory benches, medical and surgical equipment, boat fittings, pharmaceutical, textile, and chemical processing equipment are all made from it.

Learn more about the differences between 304 and 316 stainless steel.

Martensitic
Martensitic stainless steels are part of the 400 Grade stainless steel series. They range in carbon content from low to high, and contain 12 to 15% chromium and up to 1% molybdenum. It is used when corrosion and/or oxidation resistance, as well as high strength at low temperatures or creep resistance at high temperatures, are required. Martensitic steels are magnetic and have a high ductility and toughness, making them easier to form.

Applications of Martensitic Stainless Steel
Compressor blades and turbine parts, kitchen utensils, bolts, nuts, and screws, pump and valve parts, dental and surgical instruments, electric motors, pumps, valves, machine parts, sharp surgical instruments, cutlery, knife blades, and other cutting hand tools are all applications for martensitic stainless steels.

Duplex
Duplex stainless steels, as the name implies, have a mixed microstructure of ferrite and austenite. The chromium and molybdenum content is high, ranging from 22% to 25% and up to 5%, respectively, with a very low nickel content. The stainless steel has many desirable properties due to its duplex structure. For starters, it has twice the strength of standard austenitic or ferritic stainless steels, as well as superior corrosion resistance and toughness.

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