In addition to chromium, nickel, molybdenum, titanium and niobium, other elements may also be added to stainless steels in varying quantities to produce a range of stainless steel grades, each with different properties.
There are a number of grades to choose from, but all stainless steels can be divided into five basic categories:
These are named according to the microstructure inherent in each steel group (a function of the primary alloying elements). Austenitic and ferritic grades account for approximately 95% of stainless steel applications.
All stainless steels have a high resistance to corrosion. Low alloyed grades resist corrosion in atmospheric conditions; highly alloyed grades can resist corrosion in most acids, alkaline solutions, and chloride bearing environments, even at elevated temperatures and pressures.
Some grades will resist scaling and maintain high strength at very high temperatures, while others show exceptional toughness at cryogenic temperatures.
The cleanability of stainless steel makes it the first choice in hospitals, kitchens, food and pharmaceutical processing facilities.
The cold work hardening properties of many stainless steels can be used in design to reduce material thicknesses and reduce weight and costs. Other stainless steels may be heat treated to make very high strength components.
Stainless steel is a valuable scrap material. It is 100% recyclable and a preferred raw material input by steel makers. Stainless steel production incorporates high levels of scrap use (as high as 80% of charged materials will be scrap stainless steel). New stainless steel comprises at least 50% recycled stainless steel product and more than half the stainless steel produced today has already been another useful stainless steel product in the past.
As a result of our drive to continuously improve and transform our products, we manufacture customized stainless steel products in our ultra-modern production facilities in multiple grades and sizes.