What Stainless Steel Grades We Have!

Qinghe Steel is a full line supplier and processer of stainless steel coil, sheet, plate, bar, and strip products. We stock many grades of stainless steel, including 300 and 400 series stainless, annealed and in various tempers and high temperature grades, for shipments worldwide. View our steel center here

Stainless steel types

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What is stainless steel?

Stainless steel is an iron and chromium alloy. While stainless must contain at least 10.5% chromium, The components and ratios will vary based on the grade requested and the intended use of the steel. The steel also contains varied amounts of other elements such as Carbon, Silicon and Manganese. Other elements can be added to increase corrosion resistance (Nickel) and formability (Molybdenum).

Applications include food handling/processing, medical instruments, hardware, appliances, and structural/architectural uses.

The Three Primary Types of Stainless Steel

While there are thousands of different types of stainless steel alloy that can be produced, most alloys will fall into one of the following three categories.

Austenitic stainless steel

There are two main characteristics of this type of stainless steel. First, there is a lot of chromium included during the production of austenitic stainless steel. Items produced with this material are more corrosion-resistant. Second, these items tend to be non-magnetic, although they can become magnetic with a cold forming process. These are the most common types of stainless steel alloys. What is Austenitic Stainless Steel?

Ferritic Stainless Steel

This type of stainless steel is the second most common type of alloy and is also magnetic. Items produced with this alloy can be hardened through cold forming and also tend to be less expensive than other types due to the lower nickel content. What is the Ferritic Stainless Steel?

Martensitic Stainless Steel

This material is the least common type of stainless steel alloy. Martensitic stainless steel is used in applications where high tensile strength is needed or a lot of impact resistance. In many cases, this material is also combined with a protective polymer coating to improve corrosion-resistance. What is Martensitic Stainless Steel

Advantage of Stainless steel

  • Beautiful surface and diversified use possibilities
  • Good corrosion resistance, longer durable than ordinary steel.
  • High strength
  • High temperature oxidation resistance and high strength, can resist fire
  • Processing at room temperature, easy to plastic processing
  • Because there is no need to surface treatment, so simple, simple maintenance
  • Clean, good finish
  • Good welding performance

The Use of Stainless Steel

When people use the term "stainless steel," they often use it as a "catchall" term, but in reality, there are several different types of stainless steel with a variety of uses.

We use stainless steel in a wide array of fields, such as medical and food. Many industries have guidelines on the type of material used and what alloys are suitable to apply. With each alloy, they produce a different solution for each industry.

The food industry has plenty of use for stainless steel, especially for the sanitization of products, such as kitchenware. Kitchenware's easy to clean and maintain, as stainless steel is a great material to use.

In the chemical, oil, and gas industries, you'll likely find different items made from stainless steel—for example, items like large tanks, pipes, and tubing, and even pumps and valves. As a side note to help avoid corrosion, nuclear power plants use stainless steel pipes.

Also, stainless steel made a lasting impression on the environment by being used more in modern architecture. With its irresistible anti-corrosion properties and built-in ability to recover when scratched, stainless steel has helped improve the environment and change our view of architecture.

Grading Systems for Stainless Steel

There are many numerical grading systems for stainless steel, designated according to their composition, physical properties, and applications. Each type of stainless steel is classified by its series number and then assigned a numerical grade. The most popular series numbers are 200, 300, 400, 600, and 2000. The most common grades are type 304 and 316 that consist of austenitic chromium-nickel alloys. Cutlery grade stainless steels are found in the 400 Series, which is derived from ferritic and martensitic chromium alloys. Type 420 is known as surgical steel, and type 440 is known as razor blade steel.

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Qinghe Steel stocks a wide range of stainless steel for your specific project needs. We offer quick delivery throughout the world. Contact us today to discuss stainless steel for your project needs.

Read More:

The Applications of Steel Pipe: Stainless, Carbon, Galvanized, and Alloy

The Difference Between Stainless Pipe and Galvanized Pipe

What is The Difference Between Stainless Pipe and Stainless Tube?

How to Clean Stainless Steel: A Comprehensive Guide

Carbon Steel vs Stainless Steel: A Comprehensive Comparison

Rust Resistant and Food Safe: Understanding Food Grade Stainless Steel

6 Stainless Steel Manufacturers in China


What makes stainless steel so great as opposed to other metals?

Well, everything. It is more corrosion resistant (doesn't rust), has higher heat and oxidation resistance than other metals, and has higher strength at both room and high temperatures than alternative options. In addition to these characteristics, the unique properties of stainless steel, its appearance, and its low need for maintenance all make it a strong choice for many applications.

What are the stainless steel grades?

Stainless Steel Grades:- If you were to mix, it would just be another grade of Stainless Steel.

Stainless steel grades:

100 Series—austenitic chromium-nickel-manganese alloys
Type 101—austenitic that is hardenable through cold working for furniture
Type 102—austenitic general purpose stainless steel working for furniture
200 Series—austenitic chromium-nickel-manganese alloys
Type 201—austenitic that is hardenable through cold working
Type 202—austenitic general purpose stainless steel

300 Series—austenitic chromium-nickel alloys
Type 301—highly ductile, for formed products. Also hardens rapidly during mechanical working. Good weldability. Better wear resistance and fatigue strength than 304.
Type 302—same corrosion resistance as 304, with slightly higher strength due to additional carbon.
Type 303—free machining version of 304 via addition of sulfur and phosphorus. Also referred to as "A1" in accordance with ISO 3506.
Type 304—the most common grade; the classic 18/8 stainless steel. Also referred to as "A2" in accordance with ISO 3506.
Type 304L—the 304 grade but specially modified for welding.
Type 308—used as the filler metal when welding 304
Type 309—better temperature resistance than 304, also sometimes used as filler metal when welding dissimilar steels, along with inconel.

Which steel grade is best for weldability?

While looking for the alloy with better weldability, we could look for an option with increased titanium or niobium content, such as 316l stainless steel. Typical 316l stainless steel applications include: Chemical screens, oil refineries, flexible metal hose, marine applications, textile industry parts,etc.

Why does stainless steel not rust?

Chromium. Let's look back at our equation up top. Iron, being the base metal in most stainless steel, usually rusts relatively quickly when exposed to oxygen on its lonesome. What separates stainless from carbon steel or other types of steel, is the chromium oxide layer that is added to this base metal. This layer works to form a passive film which greatly increases the corrosion resistance and, in turn, minimizes rust. As one might guess, increasing the amount of chromium increases the resistance to corrosion.