Guide to Steels

As a leader in custom steel fabrication, one of the most critical aspects of ensuring we live up to our customers’ standards is selecting the right materials for the right job. While our focus is stainless steel fabrication, we can incorporate other types of steel as well, depending on the challenges involved.

Types of Stainless Steel Available for Fabrication

Austenitic Stainless Steel
Austenitic steel is commonly used in commercial applications, notable for its lack of magnetism and extremely high corrosion resistance. These steels are generally alloys of iron, chromium, and/or nickel, but may also include small amounts of carbon for strength.

The amount of carbon included is how this steel is measured. Low-carbon grades (<0.3%) are more expensive but more resistant to corrosion. High-carbon grades (.04-.10%) are generally used in high-temperature situations where the carbon helps the steel maintain strength. While the austenitic steel cannot be hardened by heat, cold-worked is successful.

Martensitic Stainless Steel
Martensitic grades of steel were developed for situations where heat-treating is needed to be exceptionally strong and resistant to wear over time. One downfall is this steel is magnetic and has a lower resistance to corrosion than other steel choices. Martensitic grades are strictly based on chromium alloys, with little or no nickel and low amounts of carbon. This steel is also useful for individual parts which see a lot of wear, such as springs, screws, or blades.

Ferritic Stainless Steel
Ferritic stainless steel is magnetic, chromium-baed, and offers better corrosion resistance than martensitic steel – but less than austenitic grades. They are highly resistant to stress cracking and mostly used for decorative purposes, such as automobile trim, but can also be found in places like heat exchangers, exhaust pipe, and furnaces.

This grade of steel is also known as duplex grades of stainless steel, which are blends of austenitic and ferritic steel. These duplex grades can offer considerable strength and resistance but can be more expensive.