Properties and Uses of Ferritic Stainless Steel

Stainless steel has a variety of applications in the market. It has been appropriated in various fields worldwide for its advantageous features. Available in a wide range of grades – from austenitic, martensitic, ferritic, to super alloys – stainless steel is mostly manufactured with iron, chromium and nickel. Ferritic stainless steel is easy to manufacture and is widely recognised for their smooth surface finish. The low-chromium ferritic grades are predominant in a number of industries such as automotive industry and domestic goods manufacturing.

With little or no nickel content, ferritic grades are extensively used for their competitive pricing. Ferritic stainless steel grades are classified on the basis of their cubic structure.  As opposed to austenitic steel which has face-centred cubic structure, ferritic steel has body-centred cubic structure. Apart from its ductile properties, ferritic stainless steel is magnetic. For their ductility and high-durability, ferritic stainless steel makes an excellent choice for kitchenware and automotive applications.

Some Essential Properties of Ferritic Stainless Steel

  • Ferritic stainless steel ismostly characterised by high chromium and low carbon content.
  • Although ferritic steelis not as corrosion-resistant as austenitic grades of stainless steel, they are widely recognised for high weldability.
  • Ferritic grades require cold-working since they cannot be toughened by applying heat.For this reason it is used extensively in the manufacture of Stainless Steel Bsp fittings.
  • The price of nickel is volatile and affects the overall price of nickel containing stainless steel. Since ferritic grades have little or no nickel content,they are available at reasonable rates.
  • Ferritic grades are known for their attractive finish – from vibrant and polished to non-reflective and textured.

The Grades ofFerritic Stainless Steel and their Application

  • Grade 409 and Grade 410L:  With very low chromium content, these grades are cheap and are widely used in automotive industries.
  • Grade 430: Grade 430, the most popular grade of ferritic steel, has a relatively high level of chromium. Because of their corrosive-resistant properties, they can withstandany chemical spillage. They are highly resistant to nitric acids, toxic sulphuric gasses and certain organic acids. Often used as a viable alternative to austenitic grade 304, this ferritic grade is used to manufacture washing machines, kitchenware, sinks, dishwashers, etc.
  • Grade 439 and Grade 441: With outstanding weldability, these grades are used to build sinks, exchange tubes, automobile exhaust systems and parts of washing machines.
  • Grade 434, Grade 436, and Grade 444: Available with higher molybdenum levels, these ferritic grades are utilised to build solar water heaters, electric kettles, automobile exhaust systems, and microwave oven parts.
  • Grade 446, Grade 445, and Grade 447: Characterised by high chromium content, these grades have enhanced corrosive resistant properties and are widely used in automotive industries.

Ferritic steel is rich in chromium and have magnetic properties. With low nickel and carbon content, they are popular across different industries for their ductility, corrosive resistance features. Adept in a host of advantageous features, ferritic steel is extensively used in automotive and kitchenware industries.

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