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Stainless steels are essential for the modern industrial civilization because of their corrosion resistance, especially in the chemical, petrochemical, and food industries. This article discusses the classification of the various types of stainless steels, including martensitic, ferritic, austenitic, duplex (ferritic-austenitic), and precipitation-hardening stainless steels. It presents a checklist of characteristics to be considered in selecting the proper type of stainless steel for a specific application. The article also outlines the need to promote the formation of an effective protective passive layer in stainless steels. It discusses hardness, fatigue and fretting properties, tribological properties, wear resistance, and corrosion-wear process of the S-phase layer. The article describes two thermochemical nitriding techniques of stainless steels: plasma-assisted nitriding techniques and non-plasma assisted nitriding processes. It also describes the difficulties in stainless steel nitriding/carburizing.

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