Stainless steels which – beside the necessary percentage of Chromium – contain a good amount of Nickel and possibly of Molybdenum.
Austenitic steel is stainless steel which, other than the necessary percentage of Chromium, contains a good amount of Nickel and, possibly, Molybdenum. It is a particularly versatile steel range, mostly used for end uses where huge moulding ability must combine with excellent resistance to corrosion (e.g. stainless steel pumps, hobs, etc.).
The unique characteristics of austenitic stainless steel are guaranteed by the presence of Chromium up to 18% (excellent resistance to corrosion), the presence of Nickel up to 8/9% – capable of maintaining the austenitic micro-structure also after mould stretching, and other noble elements that guarantee good welding hold (such as Titanium).
Another advantage of this steel compared to ferritic steel is the simultaneous presence of certain precious metals (such as Nickel, Titanium and Molybdenum). The metals in these alloys are traded daily on the LME. This ensures the price of such steel is highly volatile compared to the (relative) stability of the price of ferritic steel.