What is austenitic stainless steel?

Austenitic grades have an Austenite crystallographic structure, which means the individual atoms are aligned in a particular orientation (face centred cubic). Stainless steel grades with an austenitic microstructure are typically easy to fabricate, have good toughness, good corrosion resistance, and consistent mechanical properties across a wider range of temperatures and are non-magnetic.

There are a number of different austenitic stainless steels, the most common being the 300 series (304/316) that are produced in large volumes for more standard applications. By increasing the proportion of alloying elements such as chromium and nickel, it is possible to increase the corrosion resistance and strength. A popular higher-performing austenitic stainless steel is Fermonic 50 (XM-19, Nitronic 50, UNS S20910, 1.3964) which is widely used in marine application and valve stems due to its improved corrosion resistance and excellent toughness. By further increasing the alloy content Super Austenitic grades such as Alloy 254 (254SMO, 6Mo, UNS S31254, F44, 1.4547) achieve exceptional corrosion resistance.

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