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This article provides an overview of the identification systems for various grades of wrought stainless steels, namely, the American Iron and Steel Institute numbering system, the Unified Numbering System, and proprietary designations. It elaborates on five major families of stainless steels, as defined by the crystallographic structure. These include ferritic stainless steels, austenitic stainless steels, martensitic stainless steels, and precipitation-hardening stainless steels. The mechanism of corrosion protection for stainless steels is reviewed. The article examines the effects of composition, processing, design, fabrication, and external treatments on the corrosion of stainless steels. Various forms of corrosion, namely, general, galvanic, pitting, crevice, intergranular, stress-corrosion cracking, erosion-corrosion, and oxidation, are reviewed. Corrosion testing for; corrosion in atmosphere, water, and chemical environments; and the applications of stainless steels in various industries are also discussed.

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