Stainless steel are iron alloys, whose main features are mechanical properties as per all carbide steels, and great corrosion resistance.
This capacity is due to the presence of alloy components, especially chrome.
This is able to cover itself with a thin and adherent stratum of oxides, quite invisible, about 3/5 x mm, that protects the alloy underneath it against chemical agents.
Stainless steel are composed by a percentage value of carbon less than 1.2 %. The minimum content of chrome “carbon free” to create the oxidum stratum is about 11-12%.
The chrome inside the alloy, in addition with carbon during the heat treatment, can be treated to create carbides of chromium (with hardness about 1600 HV).
In this case the availability of chrome carbon free will be lower, so inoxability will decrease, increasing the mechanical features (for example wear resistance).
Other alloys elements will increase mechanical features.
In addition to this, there are also the stainless steel realized through the powder metallurgy: an incredible way to permit huge quantity of alloy elements (impossible to achieve with the traditional process of production).
You can find below a short guide for some stainless steel solutions.
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