Stainless steel is the name used for a range of corrosion and heat resisting steels containing a minimum of 11% chromium although the majority contain 18% chromium in order to achieve better corrosion resistance.
The most common stainless steel grade is 304 which is widely used for general fabrications and is available in most forms, it combines good corrosion resistance with excellent weldability and good machining and forming properties. Grade 316 has better corrosion resistant properties and is normally specified for marine, coastal or other areas where environment is more aggressive, it is easy to weld but harder to machine. Grade 303 is designed to be free machining and is much easier to drill, tap and cut but it is not suitable for welding or bending, it is only available in round bar and hexagon.
There are many uses for this corrosion resistant alloy such as: architectural, engineering, food, petrochemical and pharmaceutical applications.