There are several different types of stainless steel as categorised by their internal microstructure, including Austenitic, Ferritic, Martensitic and Duplex. Duplex, Super Duplex and Hyper Duplex are all a combination of austenitic and ferritic microstructures, approximately 50:50. The microstructure is the crystallographic structure of a metal at a microscopic level, and will usually define the generic properties.
Martensitic stainless steels also referred to as precipitation-hardened PH grades offer very high strength levels, although formability and toughness are compromised.
The more standard grades, which make up the majority of the market are Austenitic i.e. 304/316 (3xx series) and Ferritic i.e. 410/420/430 (4xx series).
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