The material. Stainless steels are alloys of iron with chromium, nickel, and often four or five other elements. The alloying transmutes plain carbon steel that rusts and is prone to brittleness below room temperature into a material that does neither. Indeed, most stainless steels resist corrosion in most normal environments, and those that are austenitic (like AISI 302, 304, and 316) remain ductile to the lowest of temperatures.
Fe/ < 0.25C/16-30Cr/3.5-37Ni/ < General properties
Yield strength (elastic limit)
Tensile strength Elongation Hardness—Vickers Fatigue strength at 107 cycles Fracture toughness
Maximum service temperature Thermal conductor or insulator? Thermal conductivity Specific heat capacity Thermal expansion coefficient
Electrical conductor or insulator? Electrical resistivity
On the left: siemens toaster in brushed austenitic stainless steel (by Porsche Design). On the right, scissors in ferritic stainless steel; it is magnetic, whereas austenitic stainless is not.
Typical uses. Railway cars, trucks, trailers, food-processing equipment, sinks, stoves, cooking utensils, cutlery, flatware, scissors and knives, architectural metalwork, laundry equipment, chemical-processing equipment, jet – engine parts, surgical tools, furnace and boiler components, oil-burner parts, petroleum-processing equipment, dairy equipment, heat-treating equipment, automotive trim. Structural uses in corrosive environments, e. g., nuclear plants, ships, offshore oil installations, underwater cables, and pipes.