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Austenitic Stainless Steel: A Review

by Jun 8, 2019News

In total, there are 5 stainless steel classes. These classes include ferritic stainless steels, austenitic stainless steels, martensitic stainless steels, duplex stainless steels, and precipitation-hardening stainless steels.

While all of these classes of stainless steel are useful in one way or another, perhaps the best known of these classes is the austenitic class. Containing the popular alloys 304 309, 310, 321, and 316, austenitic stainless steels are used in a number of applications.

Interested in learning more about austenitic stainless steel? This article has you covered.

The Consistency of Austenitic Stainless Steel

Austenitic stainless steels are alloys of chromium, iron, and nickel, consisting of between 16% and 26% chromium and between 6% and 22% nickel. They are very low in carbon and will sometimes contain traces of other metals.

Where austenitic stainless steels differ most from other stainless steels is in their nickel content. Nickel is a particularly expensive metal, and, while it offers unique capabilities to austenitic stainless steels, it also drives up their prices.

The Properties of Austenitic Stainless Steel

Like all stainless steel classes, austenitic stainless steels carry a variety of unique properties and characteristics. Of these characteristics, the following are the most prominent.

Non-Magnetic

Whereas the vast majority of stainless steels are magnetic, all types of austenitic stainless steels are non-magnetic. This is the only class of stainless steels that carries this distinction.

Corrosion Resistant

One of the primary characteristics of austenitic stainless steel is its corrosion resistance. One of the most corrosion-resistant classes of stainless steel available, it’s resistant to oxidation and deterioration when in the presence of fresh water, saltwater, and abrasive chemicals.

Weldability

Austenitic stainless steels are the most weldable stainless steels in existence. Capable of being put through all typical welding processes, they are at risk of only a few problems, the most common of which is heat cracking.

That being said, as long as proper preparation is carried out before welding, austenitic stainless steels will suffer no cosmetic or functional problems.

Formability

While they’re not exactly the most formable stainless steels in existence, austenitic stainless steels are still fairly formable. They can be pressed and shaped to meet a variety of different of configurations.

Toughness

Austenitic stainless steels are some of the toughest around, capable of withstanding high-impact physical trauma over prolonged periods of time. Possessing high tensile strength, they are highlighted by their durability.

Applications of Austenitic Stainless Steels

Due to their wide variety of characteristics, austenitic stainless steels are used for a wide variety of applications. The vast majority of manufacturing industries utilize them in some way or another.

Alloy 304 is used in everything from cutlery, to kitchen sinks, to storage tanks, and much more. It’s extremely common in the food industry.

Alloys 316 and 318 are very common in the chemical processing industry, as they are often used to make pipes, valves, and more.

Alloy 310 is often used for ore processing/steel plants – smelter and steel melting equipment, continuous casting equipment? and ?petroleum refining.

Alloy 309 has use in furnaces, fluidized bed furnaces, paper mill equipment?, and ?petroleum refining

You can find alloy 321 in a wide variety of high-heat products, including afterburners, compensators, furnaces, and more. This alloy is stabilized, capable of withstanding both heat and corrosion.

In essence, austenitic stainless steel is used everywhere. It is the most commonly used stainless steel class in existence, accommodating an essentially endless list of applications.

Buy Austenitic Stainless Steel Components Now

Do you have a need for austenitic stainless steel, like alloys 304, 309, 310, 321, or 316? Are you searching for austenitic stainless steel components? If so, Great Plains Stainless has you covered.

As one of the world’s premier distributors of stainless steel pipes, bars, flanges, and fittings, we have supplied customers all over the world. Offering a variety of austenitic alloys, we’re sure to have something that suits your purposes.

Contact us today to discuss your needs!