The stainless steel round consists of several iron alloys that have a minimum of 10.5% chromium in their composition. Stainless steel has unique characteristics such as melting point, tensile strength, and corrosion and oxidation resistance. The industrial production of stainless steel continues to increase every year due to its durability, versatility, and affordability.
Stainless steel is available in over 100 different grades, distinguished by their crystalline structure. In 1930, the American Iron and Steel Institute developed the first stainless steel grade system, which was integrated with a system developed by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) to create a more consistent numbering system. Steel producers may now use multiple numbering systems, which can be more complicated.
To choose the best steel grade, it is important to understand your options. In this article, you will learn about the most prevalent types and grades of stainless steel to help you make an informed decision.
3 Groups of Stainless Steel
Although there are hundreds of different steel alloys, they can be categorized into three groups.
This type of stainless steel is the most useful. Austenitic steels contain a higher percentage of chromium than other alloys, making them more corrosion-resistant. They are also non-magnetic, although they can become magnetic after cold working.
This type of steel is the second most popular after austenitic stainless steel. It is magnetic and can be hardened through cold working. Ferritic alloys are less costly due to their lower nickel content.
Stainless steel alloys in this group are the least common. They have lower corrosion resistance compared to austenitic or ferritic alloys, but they are harder. Martensitic alloys are often useful in applications requiring extreme impact resistance and tensile strength. They can work with polymer coatings when corrosion resistance is also required.
Most Common Stainless Steel Grades
Stainless steel grades have different chemical structures, resulting in variations in their physical properties.
The most common series is the 300 series. The most popular stainless steel grades in the 300 series are 304 and 316. Additionally, grades 409 and 430 are also common.
Stainless Steel 300-Series
The 300 series of steel is austenitic, with chromium content ranging from 18% to 30% and nickel content ranging from 6% to 20%. It has a face-centered cubic (FCC) crystalline structure.
The 300-series grades of stainless steel are particularly valuable in the automotive, aerospace, and construction industries due to their composition. These grades can only be hardened through cold working processes and can withstand high temperatures.
Grade 302 is malleable and aesthetically attractive, with high tensile strength and corrosion-resistant properties. It is often helpful in structural applications that require strength and abrasion resistance.
Stainless steel 303 round bar has the highest machinability among all austenitic grades. The presence of sulfur in its composition enhances machinability but slightly reduces corrosion resistance and toughness compared to 304. It is commonly beneficial in applications where corrosion resistance is required.
This grade accounts for half of all steel produced globally. Grade 304, with its 18% chromium and 8% nickel content, is aesthetically appealing and durable. However, it may corrode or pit when exposed to saltwater due to its vulnerability to salinity. It is available in both 304 stainless steel round rods and 304 stainless steel bar stock.
The second most widely produced grade, 316 stainless steel contains 2% to 3% molybdenum, making it more resistant to saline environments. It is helpful in surgical supplies and coastal areas. 316 stainless steel round rods and 316 stainless steel bar stock are available.
Grade 321 has excellent tensile strength at high temperatures and is more pitting and corrosion-resistant than grades 304 and 316. It is more expensive due to its composition.
Stainless Steel 400-Series
The 400-series stainless steel is slightly magnetic and contains 11% more chromium and 1% more manganese compared to the 300-series. The carbon percentage is also higher in this steel, resulting in increased strength and wear resistance but faster corrosion. The 400-series stainless steel is hardened through heat treatment.
Grade 416 is a free-machining martensitic chromium steel, known for its excellent machinability. It also has good oxidation and corrosion resistance, as well as high strength when tempered and hardened. It is magnetic and has minimal frictional characteristics that help prevent seizing and galling.
Grade 420 is a ferritic steel that is easily formable but not resistant to high temperatures and corrosion. It is great for decorative applications and BBQ grills. 420 stainless steel round rods and sheets are readily available.
This ferritic stainless steel is highly resistant to sulfidation, oxidation, and other types of hot corrosion. Its temperature strength remains relatively low, and it is useful in the temperature range of 1500 to 2100°F.
Why Choose Stainless Steel?
Stainless steel round rods are available in different sizes and diameters and can be helpful for various purposes, including construction and manufacturing.
They are known for their durability, cost-effectiveness, and corrosion resistance. Stainless steel rounds have no welds or seams, making them easy to work with and ensuring a smooth and seamless final product.
Advantages of Stainless Steel Round Rods:
Cost-effective: Stainless steel rounds are less expensive than other types of metal rods, making them suitable for those on a tight budget.
Durability: Stainless steel round rods are more durable than metals such as copper or aluminum. They offer excellent corrosion resistance, making them ideal for industries dealing with water or acidic substances.
Variety of sizes: There is a wide range of sizes available for stainless steel rounds, allowing you to find the perfect size for your project.
Advance Grinding Services – Your Trusted Steel Grade Provider
Advance Grinding supplies various types of stainless steel grades, including the most common ones from the 300 and 400 series. Our products undergo stringent quality control procedures, ensuring customer satisfaction and excellent service.
We can provide the perfect grade of stainless steel alloy for your specific project, regardless of its size or industry. Check our product list online and contact us or request a quote today.