The rate of growth of stainless steel has outpaced that of other metals and alloys, and by 2010 may surpass aluminum as the second most widely used metal after carbon steel. The 2007 world production of stainless steel was approximately 30,000,000 tons and has nearly doubled in the last ten years. This growth is occurring at the same time that the production of stainless steel continues to become more consolidated. One result of this is a more widespread need to understand stainless steel with fewer resources to provide that information. The concurrent technical evolution in stainless steel and increasing volatility of raw material prices has made it more important for the engineers and designers who use stainless steel to make sound technical judgments about which stainless steels to use and how to use them.
This book provides design engineers with an up-to-date source of information at a level useful for both metallurgists and other engineers and technicians. It seeks to bridge the gap between the internet where much current, but raw information is available and scholarly books and journals that provide theory that is difficult to put into practice. The content of the book is selected for utility for the user of stainless steel. The first section gives elementary metallurgy and identification of constituents of stainless, the effects of alloying elements and a significant section on corrosion. A second section is oriented toward processes important to users of stainless steel. The third section is about each family of stainless alloys and includes the most recent additions that have come to the market. The fourth section deals in some depth with the major applications for stainless steel. This last part is presented without the promotional bias which is found in many steel producers’, alloy producers’, and trade associations’ literature. While a number of steel producers have provided assistance to the author, there has been no attempt to unfairly bias information in their favor. To the contrary, those producers responsible for generating factual, useful data for the user community are those who should benefit the most by books such as this. The author is particularly indebted to Allegheny Ludlum and John Grubb, and his many colleagues who assisted him, for technical assistance throughout the writing and to Carnegie Mellon University for their support. The author also wishes to thank Professor Sridhar Seetharaman at Carnegie Mellon University for his help in writing the corrosion chapter and others who helped: Roy Matway of CMU, Vittorio Boneschi of Centro-Inox; Paul Mason of Thermo-Calc; Bob Drab of Schmolz Bichenbach; Elisabeth Torsner and Chuck Turack Outukumpu, USA; Scott Balliett of Latrobe Steel; Jim Halliday and Fred Deuschle of Contrarian Metals Resources; Professors Tony DeArdo of Pitt and Gerhard Welsch of CWRU; the staffs of Centro-Inox, Euro-Inox, SSNA, The Nickel Institute; and the editorial staff at ASM International, Scott Henry, Eileen DeGuire, Charlie Moosbrugger and Steve Lampman. I would also like to thank the many members of my forum at Eng-tips.com who have contributed much collective knowledge and perspective to this book.