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Production methods and applications of stainless steel

Methods of production

Stainless steel converter smelting is carried out with bottom air blowing (Bessemer and Thomas method) as well as with oxygen blowing from above and below. The air oxygen oxidizes the impurities, resulting in the transformation of cast iron into steel. The heat released during oxidation heats the melt to 1600°C. To improve the surface quality of the ingot, stainless steel has to be poured at high speed, the surface of the metal in the mold has to be protected by a reducing atmosphere or slag, and the metal jet has to be protected by inert gases during casting. Auremo, a supplier of certified steel products, offers to buy quality steel products today.

Corrosion resistance.

The main requirement to stainless steels is corrosion resistance that depends on the alloy composition, its structural state, aggressive corrosive environment and influencing loads. Corrosion resistance is caused by the formation, on the surface of the product, of a strong passivating film that prevents the penetration of the aggressive substance into the deeper layers of the material. Chromium is one of the strongest passivating elements in oxidizing environments. 12-13% Cr in its composition makes the alloy resistant to the action of atmospheric and soil moisture. Increasing the chromium content to 28-30% makes the alloy resistant to aggressive environments.

Strength and ductility

These qualities depend on many factors: the crystal structure, the binding energy of atoms in the crystal lattice, the purity of the metal, alloying additives, grain size and other factors. According to modern concepts, the resistance to plastic deformation is determined mainly by the number of imperfections in the structure of the crystal lattice, first and foremost by dislocations.


The hardening of stainless steel occurs as a result of the interaction of impurity atoms - which do not form the lattice of the basic solid solution - with dislocations. However, the hardening of an alloy is made more pronounced by the shear-blocking of highly dispersed particles of another phase as a result of alloying and appropriate heat treatment. The thinnest hardening corresponds to a fine structure with 20-50 nm (200-500 A) second phase precipitations, uniformly distributed throughout the entire volume of the grain. Growth of allocations up to 100 nm (1000 A) and more leads to softening of steel.


Chromium steel is the most sought after. It is distinguished by hardness, wear and corrosion resistance and is relatively inexpensive. Widely used as a structural material, in transport engineering, aviation, for the production of weapons. Manganese alloys are notable for their wear resistance. Extremely wear-resistant steel of G13 grade is used for tracks of tractors or tanks. Silicon and chromium-silicon steels have exceptional hardness and elasticity. Nickel steels are highly ductile and have an increased electrical resistance along with exceptionally hard tungsten alloys. The latter are indispensable for metal tooling and percussive drilling. Titanium alloys, lightweight and corrosion-resistant, are increasingly used in aviation and underwater shipbuilding.

Martensitic alloys

Martensitic chromium steels with low chromium content (12-18%) are used when both corrosion resistance and high strength are required. Their carbon content is typically 0.1-0.4% (1X13-4X13 steels). They can be hardened. If it is necessary to obtain high hardness after hardening, the carbon content can be increased to 1% (alloy 9X18). Metal of this type is used for making knives, scissors, surgical tools, molds for plastics, and the grades with high carbon content are used for production of ball bearings operating in corrosive environments.


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