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The History And Uses Behind Series 300 Stainless Steel

Series 300 stainless steel makes up over 70 percent of total stainless steel production. Also known as Austenitic, it contains a maximum of 0.15% carbon and a minimum of 16% chromium. Sufficient amounts of nickel and manganese are mixed in to retain an austenitic structure at all temperatures, from the cryogenic region all the way to the alloy melting point.

Austenitic stainless steel was named after Sir William Chandler Roberts-Austen, an English metallurgist. Roberts-Austen died in London in 1902 at the age of 59. During his lifetime, he studied the impurities in pure metals. A variety of applications used his research and procedural improvements. It had wide-reaching effects on the industrialized world.

There are several variants of Austenitic stainless steel: 18/10 stainless, used in the production of flatware. It is made up of 18% chromium and 10% nickel. You can also find this steel in 18/0 and 18/8 versions as well.

Superaustenitic stainless steels, such as AL-6XN and 254SMO, can put up great resistance to chloride pitting and crevice corrosion. This is due to their high molybdenum content and nitrogen addition. The high nickel content also ensures better resistance to stress-corrosion cracking than those found in the 300 stainless steel series. Corrosive chlorides are such things as seawater or de-icing solutions. The only drawback is the presence of high alloy, which makes it more expensive.

There are other steels that offer similar performance at much lower costs for certain applications. ASTM A387 is a type of 300 stainless steel used in pressure vessels. A pressure vessel is an enclosed containment unit designed to hold gases or liquids at a pressure different than that of the outside. This is a low alloy carbon steel with a chromium content of 0.5% to 0.9%. 316L and 304L are two examples of this. They are used to avoid corrosion problems brought about by welding. For body piercings and implants, Grade 316LVM is the preferred choice. Biocompatibility is the main issue here. Placing metals inside the human body requiresusing steel that does not result in negative effects.

Series 300 stainless steel is recyclable. This makes it an environmentally friendly choice. During the recycling process, old steel is re-melted to form a new one. Many of today’s popular kitchen appliances and vent hoods are made using Type 304 austentitic steel. You will also find these being used in conventional and nuclear power plant superheaters and heating components.