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 Why are stainless steel castings  



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  #1

A frequently asked question is why CF8M (cast 316) stainless steel castings are slightly magnetic. Foundry users are often used to the "equivalent" forged grade, AISI 316, which is non-magnetic. AISI grades 316 and ASTM grades CF8M are known as austenitic stainless steels, while grades 430 and CB-30 are known as ferritic stainless steels. They got these names from the various crystal structures found in steel. Austenite is soft, ductile and non-magnetic. Ferrites are harder, less ductile and magnetic. The proportion of these structures present in a particular steel is primarily determined by chemical analysis, although other factors may need to be considered. CB-30 and 430 are strongly magnetic because they are mainly ferrites. AISI 316 rarely attracts magnets because it is basically austenitic. CF8M grades are slightly magnetic because, although predominantly austenitic, they typically contain 5 �" 20% ferrite. You might wonder why the 316 and CF8M are so different if they are "equivalent". The reduction or elimination of ferrite makes the alloy easier to roll into sheets, bars, etc. Therefore, manufacturers of forged materials have adjusted the chemical composition to provide this property. Obviously, the foundry industry does not have this limitation. Some of the advantages of using ferrites in CF8M are: strength increases. The yield strength of CF8M is typically 35,000 to 45,000 psi. If the composition is adjusted to eliminate ferrite, yield strengths can be as low as 20,000 psi. Increased resistance to stress corrosion cracking. The consequences of intergranular corrosion are less severe. Chromium carbides form at discontinuous ferrite/austenite phase boundaries rather than at continuous austenite/austenite grain boundaries. Improves crack resistance during welding and casting. The inclusion of ferrite in this alloy has some disadvantages and usually only affects castings for special applications. For example, devices that use magnetic coupling must be made of non-magnetic materials, which the Navy specifies for minesweepers. Increased ferrite reduces impact toughness after ultra-low temperature (below -300°F) and exposure to high temperature (above 1000°F), although the latter is rare




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