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Considerations to Make When Picking a Stainless Steel Alloy

by May 24, 2019News

Are you looking to buy stainless steel items so that you can use them for manufacturing purposes? If so, it’s important to know that there are over 100 different stainless steel alloys in existence, each of which provides something a little different in terms of functionality and performance.

Need help finding the best alloy for your purposes? If so, this article should help. Below, we’re going to discuss the different considerations you should keep in mind when choosing a stainless steel. Let’s begin!


Depending on what you’re trying to manufacture out of your stainless steel, its malleability capabilities could be hugely important. For instance, if you’re looking to manufacture a small and intricate component, a stainless steel with low malleability would probably not suit you. This is because it will likely break as it’s being shaped.

Instead, you’ll want to use a stainless steel with high malleability. Such stainless steels can withstand bending without breaking. In other words, they can be shaped into intricate and detailed tools and components.

The most malleable stainless steel alloys fall into the austenitic class, like 309 & 310. It’s important to note, however, that the duplex class of stainless steels, like S31803 or 2205 is fairly malleable as well.

Resistance to Corrosion

If your stainless steel will be coming into contact with corrosive materials (water, acid, etc.), you’ll want to consider its corrosion resistance capabilities. After all, not all stainless steel alloys stand up to corrosive substances as well as others.

The class of stainless steel with the best resistance to corrosion is the duplex class. Make note, however, that many austenitic stainless steels offer terrific corrosion resistance as well.

Ability to Be Heat Treated

If you’re looking to make your stainless steel exceptionally hard, you’ll want to heat treat it. Most stainless steel classes falter when being heat treated, taking on oxidation and losing structural integrity. Martensitic stainless steels and precipitation-hardening steels, on the other hand, are perfect for the task. Alloy 410, in particular, is great for heat treating purposes.


All stainless steel alloys possess decent strength. However, decent strength doesn’t always cut it. In some cases, extreme strength is needed. This is particularly true in cases where physical trauma is likely.

If you’re in need of an exceptionally strong stainless steel, you’re advised to opt for an austenitic steel, a martensitic steel, or a duplex steel. While martensitic stainless steels are typically the strongest of the bunch, the other two classes provide enough in the way of additional characteristics to justify their use.


Often times, manufacturers have a need to weld their stainless steels. If this is true of your case, you’ll have to choose wisely. After all, not all stainless steel alloys are appropriate for welding purposes. Failure to choose the correct type of stainless steel for welding purposes will likely result in oxidation and structural issues.

Generally, the best types of stainless steels to use for welding purposes include austenitic, ferritic, and duplex stainless steels. Alloys 430 and 346, in particular, are terrific for welding.

Looking to Buy Stainless Steel Items?

Now that you know what to look for in a stainless steel alloy, you might be ready to buy stainless steel items. If so, you’re in the right place. Great Plains Stainless is one of the world’s premier distributors of stainless steel components.

Whether you’re looking for pipes, bars, flanges, or some other type of component, we can accommodate you. We make our components out of a number of different steel alloys, including alloys from the austenitic, ferritic, duplex, martensitic, and precipitation-hardening classes.

Browse our selection of alloys now!