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Do You Know Austenitic Stainless Steel?

Austenitic stainless steel is a mixture of steel, chrome, nickel, and austenite. The composition includes iron, chromium, and nickel. The high concentration of austenite makes the metal non-magnetic. In fact, many of the common formulas of stainless steel, including 302 and 304, are austenitic metals. 304 stainless steel has about 20 percent chromium and 10 percent nickel.

Austenitic stainless steel has some unique properties, including the fact that it cannot be hardened through heat treatment. The due penetrant inspection is the main way to test the metal for strength and clarity. Since the metal is not magnetic, magnetic particles inspection will not work with the metal. The metal has a variety of uses in many different industries, and is often used for aviation construction, steel mills, steel welding, and chemical factories. Even though the metal will not harden under heat, it is often used for high-temperature applications because it does not change structure or durability when exposed to high heat. Because of this, the metal is often used in steel welding, to provide shaped pieces of stainless steel that do not change through the heating process.

The main benefit of austenitic steel is that it is not magnetic. It is suitable for applications around magnetic machines and electronics, or in applications where the use of magnets could disrupt the function of a machine. This form of steel is highly popular in aviation applications, spacecraft, electronics, electronic enclosures, industrial machines, and even household appliances. In fact, most stainless steel used in commercial and residential use is non-magnetic because of the use of austenitic steel. This form of steel does tend to cost more than traditional steel that is magnetic, so most manufacturers only use the metal when absolutely necessary for the protection of the product.