What is the difference between austenitic and martensitic stainless steel? Stainless Steels
Austenitic and martensitic refer to the microstructure of the metal, another term for the crystalline structure at an atomic level. The microstructure determines many of the mechanical and physical properties of a metal. Therefore, in general, austenitic stainless steels have a relatively modest strength, but good impact properties, are easier to form and weld, are non-magnetic and have a range of good to excellent corrosion resistance. By comparison, martensitic stainless steels tend to have very high strengths, lower impact properties, are more difficult to form and weld, are magnetic and have a lower level of corrosion resistance. Their lower alloy content means that they can be lower cost, depending upon the condition supplied in.
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