Description   Stainless steelsare steels that contain a minimum of 10% chromium and are more resistant to corrosion than normal steels.   Types   Stainless steels can vary in composition from a simple alloy of iron and chromium to complex alloys containing chromium, nickel, and various other elements in small quantities.   Classifications   There are three main classifications of stainless steels distinguished based on their composition and internal structure.
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Q & A on Stainless Steel Alloys

We asked our users for their input on Stainless Steel Alloys. Here are the results of 108 users familiar with Stainless Steel Alloys.

Who Took Our Poll? | Design Trends | Applications and Use | Features | Buying Advice

Who Took Our Poll?Top

Design TrendsTop

Q:
What new technologies are influencing stainless steel alloy design?
16 answers
Answers:
In the research I am conducting, a new technology influencing austenitic stainless steels is the replacement of carbon with nitrogen as the interstitial alloying element. The purpose of this is to improve the alloy's ability to resist sensitization when welding.
~Jake W, Student, San Luis Obispo, CA
New chemical blends being developed require the need for less expensive easily available stainless steel grades rather than the exotic alloys currently being used.
~Ian G, Engineer, Newport, England
Strip casting and direct annealing, pickling and cold rolling in only line, avoiding box annealing for ferritic and martensitic grades.
~Engineering, Consulting, Oldenburg, Germany
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Q:
From your perspective, which companies are creating the most innovative stainless steel alloys?
17 answers
Answers:
From my perspective, one of the most innovative companies is Sumitomo Metals.
~Jake W, Student, San Luis Obispo, CA
Thyssen Krupp VDM, POSCO, Outokumpu, NIppon Steel, Carpenter
~Engineering, Consulting, Oldenburg, Germany
We buy from several companies in India, China, Spain, Russia.
~Knut E, Quality Control, Modum, Norway
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Applications and UseTop

Q:
What are some of the applications you have used stainless steel alloys for?
33 answers
Answers:
Forging < round bar7/16" to make 1 pce7'' overall length 7/16'' dia x 2.5" long then step up .875" sq x 2'' long, then step down 7/16'' dia x 2.5'' long , treaded both ends N.F.T. 1.125'' LONG
~Other, Laval, Canada
The main application I am studying stainless steels for is their use in the petroleum refining industry. The particular alloy I am studying and testing is a proprietary type 347LN stainless steel.
~Jake W, Student, San Luis Obispo, CA
Automotive industries e.g. exhauster, converter, trims wheel caps etc., sink production, all kinds of pipes, cutlery, springs etc....... Only some samples!
~Engineering, Consulting, Oldenburg, Germany
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Q:
Please share with us any “non-standard” applications that stainless steel alloys have been used for.
7 answers
Answers:
17-4 plate and bar, hydro dam gate Track & wheel 301Ln, metal powder oven conveyer belt
~Other, Laval, Canada
Medical application e.g. stainless stents, stainless needles
~Engineering, Consulting, Oldenburg, Germany
High pressure/high speed rotary seals (450bar & >150m/sec)
~Chris Carmody, Special Products Manager, Rotherham, UK
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Q:
Do you know of any disastrous mistakes that occurred due to the incorrect usage of stainless steel alloys?
5 answers
Answers:
We buy several different grades of stainless steel and we go to great lengths to mark up our stock so that the exact grade is known. We know of instances where grades have been stored together without identification resulting in the wrong grade of stainless being used on an application.
~Chris Carmody, Special Products Manager, Rotherham, UK
There have been countless accidents due to material failure, but no disastrous mistakes that I am aware of due to incorrect selection/usage.
~Jake W, Student, San Luis Obispo, CA
Austenitic ss in a waste heat boiler - lasted 3 days - carbon steel works better
~Lawrence B, Engineer, Camden, NJ

FeaturesTop

Q:
What would your design or feature "wish list" be for this product?
14 answers
Answers:
My design "wishlist" includes: 1.) The alloy must have good weldability, 2.) The alloy should require minimal post-weld heat treating, 3.) The alloy should be able to resist high temperature creep.
~Jake W, Student, San Luis Obispo, CA
I don't have a wish list, my job is to make the optimum selection from the grades available and (importantly) to be aware of their short-comings.
~Chris G, Engineering Consultant, Shrewsbury, England
Higher strength with no corrosion resistance trade-off. Better screw thread materials to compare with the strength of plain carbon steels.
~Chris Carmody, Special Products Manager, Rotherham, UK
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Q:
Is there any advice you want to share with users to help them avoid common errors in selection or usage of stainless steel alloys?
7 answers
Answers:
My main point of advice would be: Just because the metal is stainless steel does not mean it will resist all types of corrosion. Do research first on the corrosive nature of environment the stainless steel will be used in, and then determine which grade of SS is best suited for that environment.
~Jake W, Student, San Luis Obispo, CA
Consider ferritic stainless steels for high stress applications (bolting) - these are stronger than austenitic and less prone to stress corrosion cracking & chlorides.
~Lawrence B, Engineer, Camden, NJ
As Above, Check out information web sites that will describe what and where these materials are best suited, this may help your decision making.
~Ian G, Engineer, Newport, England
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Buying AdviceTop

Q:
Do you have any advice for people relative to buying or using stainless steel alloys?
9 answers
Answers:
My advice would be that the people buying or using stainless steel should first figure out how the material properties relate to the design and/or manufacturing requirements of the product. Does it need to be welded? Will there be machining involved? What kind of corrosion resistance will be required? How hot will the alloy get in its intended application? These are all questions that will determine which family and grade of stainless steel is needed.
~Jake W, Student, San Luis Obispo, CA
Make sure that you are familiar with the various specifications and standards, and do not assume that all stainless steels are 'roughly' the same and have similar chemical resistance.
~Chris Carmody, Special Products Manager, Rotherham, UK
Check your requirements closely, there are many grades very similar to each other with subtle differences that can come back to haunt you.
~Ian G, Engineer, Newport, England
Alloy segregation & traceability - 304 & 316 are easy to confuse in a shop.
~Lawrence B, Engineer, Camden, NJ
Make sure you know the application is to be food grade of 3-A approved.
~David D., Design Engineer, New Hudson, MI
Know what you require in your design and match the appropriate steel.
~Graeme M, Project Manager, Auckland, New Zealand
Remembeer: exotic materials fail exotically.
~Chris G, Engineering Consultant, Shrewsbury, England
Always conduct PMI on all SS alloys
~Quality Control/Assurance, Mandaue City, Philippines
It depends on use.
~Knut E, Quality Control, Modum, Norway

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