All About the 5 Major Stainless Steel Groups

sanitary pipe valves

If you do not know a lot about stainless steel, you may think there is only one option out there when it comes to investing in new stainless steel products. The truth is that there are lots of different types of stainless steel and that most of these types are put into one of five groups. These groups are austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, duplex, and precipitation-hardening.



Whether you are purchasing sanitary pipe valves, sanitary valves and fittings, sanitary clamps, or something else, knowing your types of stainless steel is important. Get the specifics below.

Austenitic Stainless Steel


Austenitic stainless steel is non-magnetic, and it cannot be hardened with heat. It is known for having a high resistance to corrosion, and when it comes to dairy industries or food-processing industries, austenitic stainless steel is typically the type used.

Ferritic Stainless Steel


Ferritic stainless steel is also good at resisting corrosion and, like the austenitic type, it is not hardened with heat. You will see this type of stainless steel more often in the auto industry or in architectural settings.

Martensitic Stainless Steel


Martensitic options can be hardened with heat, and these types are magnetic, as well. They are fairly good at resisting corrosion, but do not do as well as austenitic or ferritic steels. When thinking of applications where martensitic stainless steel is used, think doctor’s equipment (surgical tools) or certain workshop tools, like wrenches.

Duplex Stainless Steel


Now, when it comes to the best stainless steel for resisting corrosion, duplex is the way to go. It is made up of equal parts of ferritic and austenitic, and it is often used in situations where chemicals need to be stored or transported.

Precipitation-Hardening Stainless Steel


Precipitation-hardening steel is similar to austenitic types when it comes to corrosion, but is hardened by different methods. It is used in certain construction-type settings.

Not All Stainless Steel is Created Equal


As you can see, picking out parts for your next project or tool is not always as simple as it might seem. If you need help sorting through your sanitary pipe valves, stainless steel sanitary strainers, or something else, we are here to help every step of the way.

Apr 8th 2019

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