How Many Types of Stainless Steel are There?

Stainless Steel

Experimentation with metal alloys dates back many years ago. Stainless steel remains one of the most widely used alloys of all in many different fields thanks to its incredible properties. It is indeed a very versatile material, which gives engineers the chance to experiment with the creation of many different types of alloys, each of which has applications in certain fields. As a matter of fact, over the years, by doing differently the number of metals present in the alloys, many different types of stainless steel have been produced, each of which has a wide range of applications in different fields. For instance, it can be used in the construction field as well as for building tools and kitchen utensils. That’s why stainless steel is one of the most commonly used materials in many industries. The reason behind its great popularity lies behind the many advantages it can offer from many points of view. It is indeed a material characterized by amazing physical properties, which nowadays contribute to making it so precious. For instance, it is really resistant to very high and low temperatures. It is also resistant to corrosion and incredibly durable. Because of all these qualities, stainless steel tends to be expensive both in material and working costs, however, the cost may vary depending on the grade. Moreover, this high-quality material is really pleasing to the eye. As a matter of fact, its resistance, as well as its visual appeal, has certainly contributed to its incredible popularity. Lastly, it is a really eco-friendly material, since it is very durable and also 100% recyclable. Stainless steel comes in many types and it can also be used to create other incredible alloys, such as duplex stainless steel. Let’s go deeper into this matter.

All the materials that can be used to produce stainless steel

As previously mentioned, stainless steel can be produced by dosing different kinds of metals and materials in order to expand its range of applications in many fields. For instance, stainless steel produced with high carbon content makes the alloy more durable and perfect for the production of cooking utensils. On the other hand, stainless steel made with chromium is highly resistant to corrosion, stains, and tarnishing. Lastly, an alloy containing high levels of nickel makes it much easier to shape and cup, while also improving its anticorrosion properties. 

Types of stainless steel

Stainless steel comes in many different types. The most common one, which is also used in a wider range of applications, is austenitic stainless steel. It can be made with high levels of chromium to improve its durability and to make it corrosion-resistant. You can also decide to make it magnetic or non-magnetic, depending on the application of the material. Another common type is ferritic stainless steel, which is magnetic and harder than any other kind. This is possible thanks to the cold forming. This particular type of alloy is also cheaper than the others, thanks to its lower nickel content. Lastly, there’s martensitic stainless steel, which is the rarest. This alloy is much more resistant than the others.

What is Duplex stainless steel?

We have seen which are the most common types of materials for the production of stainless steel and also the most common types on the market. If you work in a sector where the use of stainless steel is necessary, you will surely have heard of duplex stainless steel. What is it about? Duplex belongs to a family of stainless steel which is produced with the exact same levels of ferritic and austenitic steel. This perfect balance makes it even more resistant to corrosion than the regular types and way more ductile and easier to shape than the ferritic grades. However, the most ductile alloy is always the austenitic one. Duplex stainless steel is also made with higher levels of chromium and less nickel. It is a material that finds application in a wide range of fields, such as the production of pipes.