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Stainless Steel Alloys
Article © MAIL User: Thadius

302 Alloy – The most basic form of stainless steel. It is also the most common, with good corrosion resistance and great mechanical properties. Often described as being “gummy” by machinists, if you can think of stainless as “gummy”.

302B Alloy – Similar to 302 Alloy, but with added silicon to improve oxidation resistance.

303 Alloy – Improved resistance to atmospheric corrosion and improved mechanical properties.

XM-19 – A treated 303 alloy. Nitrogen strengthened austenitic (composed of austenite -- nonmagnetic solid solution of ferric carbide or carbon in iron, used in making corrosion-resistant steel -- Ed.), which improves corrosion resistance.

304 Alloy – The alloy of stainless that we all know and love. Basically, it’s just a low-carbon version of the 302 alloy.

304L Alloy – Extra low-carbon version of the 302 alloy. Helps in welding.

305 Alloy – A great alloy for blacksmithing, as it has a reduced work-hardening rate and is very compatible with deep-drawing.

308 Alloy – Extra chromium and nickel give extra heat and corrosion resistance.

309 Alloy – High resistance to scaling effects at high temperatures.

309S Alloy – Low-carbon version; especially useful in welding applications.

310 Alloy – Similar to 309 alloys, but with a higher alloy content.

310S Alloy – Low-carbon version of the 310 Alloy.

314 Alloy – Added silicon to prevent heat scaling.

316 Alloy – Molybdenum added to improve corrosion and pitting resistance. It also adds a decent amount of high temperature strength, which comes in handy in autoclaves.

316L Alloy – Extra low carbon version of the 316 alloy.

317 Alloy – Same as the 316 alloy, but with a higher alloy content to improve performance.

317L Alloy – Extra low-carbon version of the 317 alloy.

321 Alloy – Heat stabilized for use in the 800 to 1500 Fahrenheit heat range.

347 Alloy – Similar to 321 alloy, but further stabilized with niobium and tantalum.

347F Alloy – Free-machining version of the 347 alloy.

348 Alloy – Similar to 347 alloy, but with a reduced amount of tantalum.

403 Alloy – Special 410 alloy, used for part under high amounts of stress.

410 Alloy – Low cost general purpose alloy. Used mainly where corrosion is not extensive.

414 Alloy – A 410 alloy with slightly better corrosion resistance and mechanical properties.

416 Alloy – Another 410 alloy, with high corrosion resistance and rapid machinability.

420 Alloy – Similar to 410 alloy with a higher carbon content, resulting in higher strength.

420F Alloy – Free-machining variety of 420 alloy.

420F Se Alloy – An alloy in the 420 family used mainly for forging.

430 Alloy – Most popular chromium alloy available. Good heat and corrosion resistance.

431 Alloy – Best corrosion resistance of the chromium alloys. Very high mechanical properties.

440A/440B/440C – High carbon content alloys. Carbon content results in higher strength, but lower toughness. Only corrosion resistant in hardened condition.

440F – Free-machining alloy of 440C.

17-4 PH – Alloy with excellent corrosion resistance and high strength. Great fabricating characteristics.

15-5 PH – An alloy very close to 17-4 PH. Capable of a higher degree of ductility.

PH 14-8 Mo – A special stainless alloy with high strength.

PH 15-7 Mo – Similar to PH 14-8 Mo, but with a higher toughness.

PH 13-8 Mo – Another special stainless alloy with superb strength and toughness.

Be sure to check back regularly – this article is expected to be overhauled soon.
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