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Bernd Heinermann Manager Product Management & Application Engineering


Corrosion-resistant Steel

Stainless Steel and the Challenges Associated with Working with the Material

Corrosive-resistant steels include a range of steel grades characterized by high resistance to corrosion and acid. These qualities make it ideal for use in medical equipment and in the chemical and food processing industries. Because of its tendency to fuse with the tool cutting edge (built-up edge), it is considered difficult to machine.
Corrosion-resistant steel – hygienic but difficult to machine

Corrosion-resistant steel is also known as VA steel, Inox, and stainless steel. These steels are at least 10.5 percent chromium by content. When making them, the chromium must be dissolved in an austenitic or ferritic solid solution. One example of a common grade of corrosion-resistant steel is austenitic-ferritic stainless steel. The positive material behavior is due to its self-repairing passive layer (chromium oxide) on the surface, which makes it resistant to oxidation and acid. This layer can be further stabilized by adding more chromium. Even greater stability can be achieved through the addition of nickel and molybdenum.

Here are a few of the main stainless steel grades along with the special challenges presented by each:

  • Duplex (1.4462): Duplex is a nitrogen alloyed V4A chromium-nickel steel belonging to the ISO M group of austenitic-ferritic stainless steels. This high-strength steel is in wide use. It is more ductile than stainless chromium steel. The challenges faced when machining this material include poor chip control, crater wear, significant seasonal fluctuations in quality between batches, and difficulties in achieving a high surface quality.
  • X6CrNiMoTi17-12-2 (1.4571): This is an austenitic stainless steel from the ISO M material group which also belongs to the V4A chromium-nickel steels. It is suitable for use at temperatures up to 550°C. The steel is easy to forge and weld while also being suitable for low-temperature applications. It is difficult to machine due to its tendency to adhere to tools (built-up edge) and due to issues relating to chip breaking, poor surface quality, and crater wear.
  • X5CrNi18-10: This ferritic/martensitic stainless steel (material number 1.4301) is one of the V2A chromium-nickel steels. The material is relatively soft, non-ferromagnetic, and easy to process. It is commonly used in medical equipment and in the food processing and chemical industries. Issues encountered when machining the material include poor chip breaking and seasonal fluctuations in quality.

Due to its toughness and low thermal conductivity, corrosion-resistant steel is generally more difficult to machine than other steel grades. Some corrosion-resistant steels also have a tendency to harden during cold forming, making it more difficult to drill, mill, and die-cut the material. With ZCT-CT products, however, it is possible to machine corrosion-resistant steels. You can find the matching precision tool for any material from the wide assortment of high-quality cutting tools we carry.

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