Martensitic steel is a variation of stainless steel known for its high strength, hardness, and wear resistance. Its chemical composition contains anywhere from 10.5-18% chromium, which increases its corrosion resistance compared to other stainless steel alloys, including the 300 Series and 400 Series. Martensitic steel can also contain up to 1.2% carbon, depending on the specific alloy, which increases strength.
Continue reading for more information about martensitic steel and its various grades and applications, or contact us today to learn more.
Properties & Characteristics of Martensitic Steel
Although martensitic steel is a variation of stainless steel, it has its own unique characteristics. Because martensitic steel contains higher levels of chromium than standard stainless steel, it can be hardened to produce superior, strong products.
The main characteristics of martensitic steel include:
- Heat resistance
- Wear resistance
- High strength
Types & Grades
Martensitic steel is available in many grades, each with various properties and compositions. Among these grades are:
- 410 Stainless steel
- 420 stainless steel
- 440A stainless steel
- Low-carbon martensitic steel
- High-carbon martensitic steel
410 SS, 420 SS, and 440A SS are the most standard grades of martensitic steel and are commonly used for industrial applications. These stainless steels cover wide carbon content ranges and can have multiple hardness levels. 410 SS is viewed as a general-purpose steel. 420 SS and 440A SS can have various properties depending on heat treatment and carbon content.
Low-carbon martensitic steel offers a high potential for fabrication while remaining strong and retaining corrosion resistance. High-carbon martensitic steels have highly increased strength, reducing their ability to weld or bend.
Martensitic Steel Benefits & Advantages
Martensitic steel has many characteristics that provide a unique variety of advantages for industrial applications.
- Versatile for many industries
- Responsive to many forms of heat treatment: quenching and tempering, annealing, age hardening
- High strength is resistant to breakage
- Corrosion resistance prolongs its lifespan
Common Martensitic Steel Applications
Martensitic steel is common in a variety of industries, including aerospace, automotive, and oil and gas. Various applications and products include:
- Surgical instruments
- Fasteners and fittings
- Miscellaneous parts
Because martensitic steel is available in many grades, it is applicable to various industries and product needs.