Corrosion resistance

In Stainless Steel, Chromium (Cr) forms ferrite while Nickel (Ni), Nitrogen (N), Manganese (Mn) and Copper (Cu) forms austenite. The higher the Cr content, the more austenitising elements are needed to change all the ferrite to austenite. Cr makes the highest contribution towards corrosion resistance. Now, in 200 Series Stainless Steels, to reduce the manufacturing costs, Ni content is minimized which in turn compels to reduce the Cr content. Therefore 200 Series Stainless Steels have lower corrosion resistance as compare to 300 Series.

This, however, does not hamper the utility of 200 Series Stainless Steels. What needs to be understood is that these grades are suitable for a much narrower range of applications than 304 Series. If used for proper applications then such grades can reduce the cost to a great extent and yet give the same results.

Strength and Hardness

The 200 Series Stainless Steels contain some amount of Nitrogen (N) which is a very effective strengthening addition. As a result, the 200 Series Stainless Steels are generally stronger and harder than the300 Series. This can be quite significant and useful in some applications. Grade 201, for instance, has about 30% higher yield strength than grade 304.


The downside of the higher strength is that the 200 Series Stainless Steels possess less formability. Formability can be improved by the addition of copper which also has the benefit that it is an austenite former. 


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