Stainless steels are a family of corrosion-resistant steels that contain at least 10.5% of chromium. Apart from chromium, these steels are commonly alloyed with nickel, molybdenum, titanium, niobium and other elements.
Their mechanical properties and application depend on their chemical composition. The durability and serviceability of a manufactured product depends on a careful choice of the right grade of steel.
Austenitic stainless steels are characterized:
- by good to excellent corrosion resistance,
- very good weldability,
- they are not difficult to maintain
The austenitic structure has good creep resistance and good oxidation resistance, making these useful at elevated temperatures. Austenitic steel can also be used in cryogenic applications and in an annealed condition it is the only non-magnetic stainless steel.
Austenitic stainless steels, in addition to chromium, which is usually about 18%, also contains at least 8% of nickel, which increases their corrosion resistance.