As a company that uses several welding techniques and technologies, we need to know what types of stainless steel to use for various projects. In our search for the best stainless steel for welding, we've discovered that different types of stainless steel work better in different situations.
In other words, there isn't a "best" stainless steel for welding. But there are better options for certain kinds of welding projects.
The Three Main Types of Stainless Steel
The steel industry groups products into three categories: austenitic steel, ferritic steel, and martensitic steel.
Austenitic Stainless Steel
We prefer using austenitic steel for projects that need flexible metal. Austenitic steel has a low level of carbon, which makes the metal easier to shape. For instance, if a client wants us to weld differently shaped parts together, then we'll probably fabricate those parts from austenitic steel. It makes the whole process easier from fabrication to final welding.
We also love austenitic steal because it doesn't corrode easily. You can leave it exposed to the elements for years without seeing any corrosion.
Martensitic Stainless Steel
We also like martensitic steel for a variety of reasons. It has more carbon that austenitic steel, but the carbon level is still fairly low, which means it's easy to work with. We can apply considerable weight to ferritic steel without worrying about structural cracks. Martensitic steel also resists corrosion, which makes it useful for products like automobiles and kitchenware that come in contact with water.
If we need to weld a custom car part, we reach for ferritic steel more often than not.
Ferritic Stainless Steel
We've covered two of our favorite stainless steel options for welding. Now, let's talk about one of our least favorite.
It's rare to find someone welding with ferritic stainless steel. Ferritic steel contains a high amount of carbon that makes it extremely hard. Unfortunately, the heat of welding can cause some types of ferritic steel to crack.
The Right Stainless Steel for the Project
It's impossible to say which type of stainless steel is the best for welding. Each project has its own demands, so we choose the right steel for the job.
At Blackstone Advanced Technologies, we know that a successful weld comes from choosing the right equipment and metals. So we take it seriously when we choose a certain type of stainless steel for a project.