What’s In A Grade?

Do you know how to order stainless steel sheet? Suppliers offer a variety of grades. Do you know the different grades or are those numbers simply numbers? Below is a simple basic guide. It will help you understand the essential differences.

What Is a Grade?

The term “grade” refers to the quality of the product. It takes into consideration such qualities as temperature resistance and durability. The numbers indicate the series in which the stainless steel is graded. In turn, each of the grades falls into one of five families:

1. Austenitic: For many industries, this is the stainless steel of choice. Of these steels, Grade 304 is the most popular. Skilled stainless steel sheet suppliers may also refer to it as 18/8 indicating its composition – 18% chromium and 8% nickel.

2. Duplex: Known for its excellent corrosion resistance properties, the most common grade is 2205 stainless steel. Applications include chemical tanks and heat exchangers.

3. Ferritic: Suppliers refer to this type as plain chromium steel. It offers corrosion resistance and excellent formability at a low price, particularly the cheapest grade – 409 employed in the production of automotive exhaust. Another common grade in this family is 430.
4. Martensitic: Grades include 420 and 440C. The latter in particular is known for its excellent hardness and superior ability to resist abrasion.
5. Precipitation Hardening: These come as solution treated bars. 630 stainless steel aka as 17-4 PH, are suited for machining prior to hardening.

Stainless Steel Sheet Suppliers

When you are considering the characteristics and qualities of stainless steel sheet, suppliers will talk about grades generally utilizing the standard AISI three- digit numbering system. However, they may also include the latest system of classification. Whichever system they decide to employ in your conversations, make certain you understand the terminology and, more importantly, how it relates to the grade of stainless steel you require for your project.

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