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Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011


Iron: It is a metallic chemical element (metal) with chemical symbol Fe (came from Latin word Ferrum) and atomic number 26. It is one of the most common elements of earths crust. Fresh iron surfaces are lustrous and silvery-grey in color, but oxidize in air to form a red or brown coating of ferric oxide or rust. Pure single crystals of iron are soft (softer than aluminum). Addition of minute amounts of impurities, such as carbon, significantly strengthens them. Alloying iron with appropriate small amounts (up to a few per cent) of other metals and carbon produces steel, which can be 1,000 times harder than pure iron. Allotrope of Iron: Iron represents perhaps the best-known example of allotropy in a metal. There are three allotropic forms of iron, known as , and .
-Iron with BCC
1538C (crystallization starts)


Non Magnetic (FCC)


Iron with FCC

Non Magnetic (BCC)


Magnetic (BCC)

770C (Cuire Point) Iron with BCC


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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011 o o o o

As molten iron cools down it crystallizes at 1538 C into its allotrope, which has a bodycentered cubic (BCC) crystal structure. Its crystal structure changes to face-centered cubic (FCC) at 1394 C, when it is known as iron, or austenite, as it cools further. At 912 C the crystal structure again becomes BCC as -iron, or ferrite, is formed. At 770 C (the Curie point, Tc) the iron becomes magnetic.



Steel: Steel is an alloy of iron, contains up to ~ 2.1% (by weight) of carbon, as a hardening agent. Besides carbon, there are other elements that form part of steel alloys. Carbon Steel or Plain Carbon Steel: Carbon steel, (also called plain-carbon steel), is steel where the main alloying element is carbon. It constitutes about 90% of structural works [1]. According to AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) Steel is considered to be carbon steel when no minimum content is specified or required for chromium, cobalt, columbium, molybdenum, nickel, titanium, tungsten, vanadium or zirconium, or any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effect. Low Carbon Steels: Contains up to 0.30 percent of Carbon by weight with a Manganese content of 0.40. The largest category of this class of steel is flat-rolled products (sheet or strip) usually in the cold-rolled and annealed condition. Medium Carbon Steels: Contains from 0.30 to 0.60 percent of Carbon by weight with a Manganese content of 0.60 to 1.65. High Carbon Steels: Contains from 0.60 to 1.00 percent of Carbon by weight with a Manganese content of 0.30 to 0.90.


Cast Iron: Alloys with carbon content higher than 2.1 % are known as cast iron because of their lower melting point and castability. Wrought Iron: Iron alloy with very low carbon content and has fibrous inclusions known as slag. Wrought iron is tough, malleable, ductile and easily weldable.

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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011

Alloy Steels: Steel is considered to be alloy steel when that exceeds one or more of these elements: 1.65% Mn, 0.60% Si, or 0.60% Cu [5]. The total carbon content is up to 1% and the total alloying elements content is below 5%. A material is also an alloy steel if a definite concentration of alloying elements, such as Ni, Cr, Mo, Ti, etc. is specified, or any other element added to obtain an alloying effect. Technically, then, tool and stainless steels are alloy steels. Stainless Steels: It is a family of corrosion resistant steel of wide variety, with Iron, Carbon, Chromium and Nickel are the primary alloying element. Technically, these are known as stainresistant steels. The stainless properties of stainless steels are primarily due to the presence of chromium (Cr) in quantities roughly greater than 12% (by weight). This level of Cr is the minimum level of Cr to ensure a continuous stable layer of protective chromium rich oxide films on the surface. Upon solidification, stainless steel develops a continuous-strong oxide film to protect the steel from the environment. The ability to form chromium oxide in the weld region must be maintained to ensure stainless properties of the weld region after welding. Due to any reason, if the base metal or weld metal contains Cr less than 12% (by weight), the finished component will rust at normal or ambient temperature. o In addition to the primary alloying elements, stainless steels are alloyed with some other alloying elements to control microstructure or enhance welding properties by changing the changing the chromium or nickel equivalents.



Stainless steels are generally classified by their microstructures and are identified as ferritic, martensitic, austenitic, or duplex (austenitic and ferritic). The microstructure significantly affects the weld properties and the choice of welding procedure used for these stainless steel alloys. In addition, a number of precipitation-hardenable (PH) stainless steels exist. Precipitationhardenable stainless steels have martensitic or austenitic microstructures.
AUSTENITIC FERRITIC STAINLESS STEEL Iron based alloy containing 12% or more Cr 200 & 300 SERIES 400 SERIES


400 & 500 SERIES [3]


2000 & 3000 SERIES [3]


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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011

Austenitic Stainless Steel: These steels remain in austenite form (FCC) at normal room temperature because of the presence of certain alloying elements, such as manganese, nickel, chromium. o AISI 200 (chrome-manganese) or 300 (chrome-nickel) series (UNS S20000 or S30000 series) Crystal structures are similar to copper or aluminum Non-magnetic in annealed condition, but may become mildly magnetic after cold work. Not hardenable by heat treatment, but readily strengthen by cold work. Generally require no pre- or post-weld heat treatment Mechanical and physical properties are more similar to those of brass than of plain carbon steel. Fairly weldable by conventional arc welding process. List of common austenitic stainless steels and typical applications [2]:
Sl No 1.0 2.0 3.0 Grade 201 202 301 UNS No. S20100 S20200 S30100 Typical Applications Lower cost, reduced nickel version of Grade 301 Lower cost, reduced nickel version of Grade 301 General purpose steel with good corrosion resistance for most applications. Employed where its high work-hardening exponent is desirable. Can be supplied cold worked to give high strength and ductility. Used for structural applications such as rail carriages and wagons General purpose steel with good corrosion resistance for most applications. Previously used architecture, food processing, domestic sinks and tubs. Mostly replaced by 304. Free machining steel used where extensive machining is required. Corrosion resistance and weldability are inferior to 302. Similar corrosion resistance to 302 and now generally replaces 302. Used where higher resistance to weld decay is needed, e.g., in brewing, etc. Lower carbon content version of 304. Used in chemical plant and food processing industry where freedom from sensitization is required. Spun sheet parts, cold headed screws. High temperature applications to 1150C. Excellent resistance to scaling, and having high temperature strength. High temperature oxidation resistant. Furnace parts. Furnace parts and equipment. Resistant to temperature 900Cto 1100C Used where higher corrosion (pitting) resistance is required, i.e., marine equipment, chemical industry equipment. A low carbon modification of 316 where heavy section weldments are required without the risk of intergranular corrosion. For chemical plant, where a greater corrosion resistance than 316 is required, e.g., in contact with brines and halogen salts. More usually available in the low carbon L grade. Heavy weldments in chemical and other industries. Suitable for heat resisting applications to 800C. High resistance to general corrosion in e.g., sulphuric and acetic acids, crevice corrosion, stress corrosion cracking, pitting in chloride bearing solutions. Good weldability.

4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0 12.0 13.0 14.0 15.0 16.0

302 303 304 304L 305 253MA 309 310 316 316L 317 321 904L

S30200 S30300 S30400 S30403 S30500 S30815 S30900 S31000 S31600 S31603 S31700 S32100 N08904

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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011

Evolution of most widely used Austenitic Stainless Steel Grades:

23Cr, 13.5Ni, 0.15C High Cr for high temp oxidation resistance

25Cr, 20Ni, 0.12C

Higher Si, N, Ce for scaling resistance, creep strength & stable microstructure

21Cr, 11Ni, 1.8Si, 0.16N, 0.05Ce

Higher Mo for greater pitting resistance

19Cr, 13Ni, 3.25Mo, 0.07C

Mo added for pitting resistance

17Cr, 12Ni, 2.25Mo, 0.06C

Low C (upto 0.03% for resistance to Sensitization

17Cr, 12Ni, 2.25Mo, 0.03C

Higher Ni for lower work hardening rate

18Cr, 12Ni, 0.08C

18.5Cr, 9Ni, 0.06C

Lower C for improved weldability

18.5Cr, 9.5Ni, 0.03C

Ti added for stabilizing and for heat resisting application

18Cr, 10Ni, 0.5Ti, 0.06C

Added S for free machining

18Cr, 9Ni, 0.12C, 0.25S

19Cr, 9Ni 0.08C

Lower cost replacement for 302 Lower Cr, Ni for higher work hardening rate 18Cr, 5Ni, 9Mn, 0.15N, 0.12C

Basic Alloy for Austenitic SS

17Cr, 7Ni, 0.08C Lower cost replacement for 301

17Cr, 4.5Ni, 6.5Mn, 0.15N, 0.12C

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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011



Ferritic Stainless Steel: These steels remain in ferrite form with body centered cubic (BCC) structure at normal room temperature. o AISI 400 series (UNS S40000 series) BCC crystal structures, are similar to mild steel Magnetic at room temperature. Not hardenable by heat treatment. Fairly weldable in thin sheet form, but not suitable for heavy welds requiring large heat inputs, or multiple pass welding, due to susceptibility to grain growth in the weld zone. List of common ferritic stainless steels and typical applications [2]:
Sl No 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 Grade 405 409 410S 430 444 UNS No. S40500 S40900 S41008 S43000 S44400 Typical Applications Welded fabrications for mildly corrosive environments and in heat resistant applications. Heat resistant steel, easily formed and welded. Mainly used for automotive exhausts or welded applications where superior performance to galvanized steel is required. Used for heat resistant applications up to 650C in power plant and oil refineries, where high strength at elevated temperatures in not required. Interior architectural component, stove and automotive trim. Welds tend to be brittle. Heat exchanger and hot water tanks, and in chloride containing waters. Not prone to chloride stress corrosion superior resistance to pitting, crevice and intergranular corrosion. Possesses excellent deep drawing properties. Used for severe heat resistant applications up to 1200C. In recuperators, highly resistant to sulphidation and oil ash corrosion Free machining bar variant of 444. Superior machinability to 303

6.0 7.0

446 182

S44600 S18200

Evolution of commonly used Ferritic Stainless Steel Grades:

Higher Cr, Mo for increased general and pitting resistance

18.5Cr, 2Mo, 0.02C, Ti (Nb)

17Cr, 0.08C Lower Cr, lower corrosion resistance, stabilized for improved weldability Lower Cr for utility applications resistance

11.5Cr, 0.06C, Ti

Basic Alloy for Ferritic SS

12.5Cr, 0.06C

Lower Cr alloy more weldable than 410S

13Cr, 0.06C, Al

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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011



Mertensitic Stainless Steel: These steels remain in body centered cubic (BCC) structure at normal room temperature. o AISI 400 & 500 series (UNS S40000 & S50000series) BCC crystal structures, are similar to mild steel Magnetic at room temperature. Hardenable by heat treatment. Difficult to weld due to their susceptibility to hardening in the weld zone. Pre- and post-heating is required. List of common ferritic stainless steels and typical application [2]:
Sl No 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 6.0 7.0 Grade 410 403 416 420 420C 431 440C UNS No. S41000 S40300 S41600 S42000 --S43100 S44004 Typical Applications General purpose grade for use in mildly corrosive environments Capable of attaining higher hardness than 410 Free machining variation of 410 General engineering uses, such as pump and valve shafts Developed for high hardness after heat treatment. Used for cutting tools, surgical knives, etc. Hardenable steel with corrosion resistance approaching302. Used for pump shafts etc. Should be double tempered after hardening. Capable of being hardened to 60 HRC. Hager hardness and abrasion resistance of all the stainless steels. Corrosion resistance similar to 410.

Evolution of commonly used Mertensitic Stainless Steel Grades:

Added Cr for increased corrosion resistance

16Cr, 2Ni, 0.18C

12Cr, 0.1C Added S for free machining

12.5Cr, 0.1C, 0.2S Mo added with higher Cr and C for High hardness and abrasion resistance

Basic Alloy for Mertensitic SS

12.5Cr, 0.25C

Higher C for higher strength or hardness

12.5Cr, 0.3C

17Cr, 1.1C, 0.4Mo

Capable of attaining higher hardness than 410

13Cr, 0.15C

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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011



Duplex Stainless Steel: These steels are alloys of iron with higher chromium and lower nickel than the austenitic alloys and having two phase microstructure ferrite and austenite: o UNS S20000 & S30000 series Two phase microstructure, typically with 45 to 65 % ferrite and 55 to 35 % austenite. Magnetic at room temperature. Have weldability similar to austenitic stainless steel with controlled heat input to the desired microstructure. o Stronger and more resistant to corrosion cracking and pitting corrosion List of common duplex and super duplex stainless steel [2][4]:
Sl No 1.0 2.0 Grade 329 (First Generation) 3RE60*** (First Generation) UNS No. S32900 S31500 Typical Application Shafting for pumps, boats. Superior corrosion resistance and strength to 316L, poor weldability. Superior corrosion resistance to 316L, high resistance to stress corrosion. General fabrication in chemical industry equipment. Suitable for welding in heavy sections without risk of intergranular corrosion Similar corrosion resistance to 316L. High resistance to stress corrosion and erosion, high yield strength. Used where high corrosion resistance is required, i.e., marine, mining, chemical, food, metallurgy and power industries. Superior corrosion resistance to 317L. Excellent stress corrosion resistance. Typically used in heat exchangers, scrubbers, calorifiers, fans, in chemical process tanks, oil and gas and refining industries where outstanding corrosion resistance is required. Suitable for welding heavy sections without risk of intergranular corrosion.

3.0 4.0

Uranus50 (First Generation) 2304 (Second Generation)

S32404 S32304


2205 (Second Generation)


6.0 7.0 8.0 9.0 10.0 11.0

2205 (Second Generation) DP-3 (Second Generation) UR52N+ (Second Generation) Ferralium 255 (Second Generation) 2507(Second Generation) Zeron 100 (Second Generation)

S32205 S31260 S32520 S32550 S32750 S32760

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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011

Evolution of Duplex Stainless Steel Grades:

UNS S31803
22Cr, 5.5Ni, 3Mo, 0.03C, 0.14N Higher Cr and Mo for greater general corrosion and pitting resistance than 317L

26Cr, 5Ni, 1.5Mo, 0.06C

Lower C and added N for improved weldability

UNS S31500
18Cr, 4.9Ni, 2.7Mo, 0.03C, 0.07N

Improved general and localized corrosion resistance over 316L

Basic Alloy for Duplex SS

Duplex structure imparts high strength and resistance to stress corrosion cracking

UNS S32304
23Cr, 4Ni, 0.03C, 0.1N

Higher Cr, without Mo for general corrosion resistance

Plain Carbon Steel is ferritic body centered cubic structure with little or no nickel content. The crystallographic structure changes from body centered cubic (BCC) to face centered cubic (FCC) by adding nickel (at least 8% by weight is required to change majority of the microstructures). With intermediate nickel contents (equal to or below 8%), the microstructure will contain some grains with ferritic and some grains austenitic, resulting in two phase structure. Further addition of nickel, the ferritic structure will turn to austenitic structure (Fig 3).

FIG 3: EVOLUTION OF DUPLEX TO AUSTENITIC STAINLESS STEEL [4]. [Increasing the Nickel content changes the microstructure of stainless steel from ferritic (left) to duplex (middle) to austenitic (right)]

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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011



Precipitation Hardening (PH) Stainless Steels are iron, chromium and nickel alloys with other additions such as Cu, Al, Nb, Mo or Ti and derive their properties from solid-solution strengthening, strain hardening, age hardening and martensitic reaction. They provide an optimum combination of the properties of martensitic and austenitic grades. o Like martensitic grades, PH stainless steels are known for their ability to gain high strength through heat treatment plus they possess the corrosion resistance of austenitic stainless steels. The high tensile strength of PH stainless steels come after a heat treatment process that leads to precipitation hardening of a martensitic or austenitic matrix. Hardening is achieved through the addition of one or more of the elements copper, aluminum, titanium, niobium, and molybdenum.

Evolution of Precipitation Hardening Stainless Steel Grades: The steel is first heated and quenched to permit austenite to transform to martensite. Reheating permits precipitates such as Ni3Al to form from the martensite. o AISI 600 series Martensitic, Semi-austenitic and austenitic Martensitic and semi-austenitic are readily weldable. Precautions are required to prevent liquation crack for austenitic grades List of common ferritic stainless steel [2]:
Sl No UNS No. 1.0 S17600 2.0 S17400 3.0 S45000 4.0 S13800 Semi Austenitic 5.0 S17700 6.0 S15700 7.0 S3500 Austenitic 8.0 --9.0 S66286 Name StainlessW 17-4PH Custom 450 (xM-25) PH 13-8 Mo (xM-13) 17-7PH PH 15-7 Mo AM-350 17-10P A286



World Stainless Steel demand has been increased beyond the common trend in the last couple of years. In the world stainless steel market, four grades,304, 430, 409 and 316 account for 80% of the total tonnage used.
Grades % of Market [3] 2XX 9 304 53 430 13 409 12 316 7 Total 94 2XX is the entire series Source: International Stainless Steel Federation (ISSF) 1.0 2.0 3.0 4.0 5.0 10 of 11 M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)

Technical Note-1 Date: 20 Jan 2011

REFERENCES: [1] [2] [3] [4] Metallurgy of Welding, 6th Edition, J.F. Lancaster, Abington Publishing, 1999, Page 289. Welding Technology Institute of Australia (WTIA) TN 13-00, Stainless Steels For Corrosive Environments, 1998 Edition, Page 4 marketfriendly, inc. Practical Guidelines For The Fabrication Of Duplex Stainless Steels, by Marketing Resources Inc. of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. (, Consultants to IMOA

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M S RAHMAN (M Sc In Welding Engineering)