Fe, <0.15%C, 16-18%Cr, 6-8%Ni, <2%Mn, <1%Si, <0.045%P,
Stainless steel grade 301 is usually supplied in the form of strips
and wires, with a tensile strength of up to 1800 Mpa, to produce
tempers ranging from 1/16 Hard to Full Hard. By subjecting grade
301 to controlled analysis it is capable of retaining sufficient
ductility even in ½ hard conditions. This form of grade 301 may be
used in aircraft, rail car components and architectural structures.
Tempers of this grade, ranging from ¾ to full hard, may be used in
applications requiring high wear resistance and spring features
with simple form designs.
Grade 301L, which is the low carbon form of grade 301, is the ideal
choice for applications that require good ductility. Grade 301LN is
another variant. This contains a higher percentage of nitrogen and
exhibits a higher work harden rate compared to standard 301. Only
grade 301 is specified in ASTM A666. 301L and 301LN are represented
by other conventions. Grade 301L is represented by JIS G4305 and
301LN by EN10088-2 as grade 1.4318.
The key properties listed in the below sections are for flat rolled
products such as plate, sheet and coil - specified as Grade ASTM
A666. For other grades, EN10088.2 and JISG4305, it is not necessary
that the values and properties are identical.
Composition ranges of stainless steel grade 301 are tabulated
Table 1 - Composition ranges for 301 grade stainless steel
The mechanical properties of grade 301 stainless steels are listed
in the table below. The bend test is obtained around a diameter of
the bend factor multiplied by the steel thickness.
Table 2 - Mechanical properties of 301 grade stainless steel
|Grade 301 Temper ASTM A666||Tensile Strength (MPa) min.||Yield Strength 0.2% Proof (MPa) min.||Elongation (% in 50mm) (thick.>0.76mm) min.||Bend Test (thickness > 1.27mm)|
|Bend Angle (°)||Factor|
Physical properties of grade 301 stainless steels are listed in the
Table 3 - Physical properties of 301 grade stainless steel
|Grade||Density (kg/m3)||Elastic Modulus (GPa)||Mean Coefficient of Thermal Expansion (μm/m/°C)||Thermal Conductivity (W/m.K)||Specific Heat 0-100°C|
|Electrical Resistivity (nΩ.m)|
|0-100°C||0-315°C||0-538°C||at 100°C||at 500°C|
Grade Specification Comparison
Table 4 provides an approximate grade comparison for 301 stainless
steels. The comparisons given in the table are of functionally
similar materials. (For exact equivalents, the original
specifications must be referred to).
Table 4 - Grade comparison for grade 301 stainless steel
|Grade||UNS No||Old British||Euronorm||Swedish SS||Japanese JIS|
Possible Alternative Grades
A list of the possible alternatives to grade 301 stainless steels
is given in Table 5.
Table 5 - Possible alternative grades to 301 grade stainless steel
|Grade||Reason for choosing the alternate grade|
|304||The lower work hardening rate of 304 is acceptable, giving better
ductility required for forming.|
|316||A higher corrosion resistance is required, and the lower work
hardening rate of 316 can be compensated for.|
The resistance to corrosion offered by stainless steel grade 301 is
similar to that offered by 304. This grade exhibits good resistance
to corrosion in mildly corrosive environments at ambient
Grade 301 exhibits good oxidation resistance for intermittent
services up to 840°C and for continuous service up to 900°C.
Stainless steel grade 301 is subjected to solution treatment
annealing in temperatures ranging from 1010oC to 1120°C followed by
rapid cooling. For intermediate annealing a low temperature range
is chosen. Thermal hardening does not suit this grade of stainless
Stainless steel grade 301 and low carbon variants of this grade are
predominantly used as high strength stainless steel. The work
hardening rates of these grades are very high, in the range of a
14MPa increase per 1% reduction in area of cold work. As a result
of this characteristic high strength can be achieved from cold
rolling and roll forming operations.
Through such forming methods strain hardened austenite may be
partially transformed to martensite. In spite of achieving such
high strengths, the residual ductility in the alloy is capable of
causing severe cold deformation. The alloy is non-magnetic in the
annealed condition, but shows strong magnetism when cold worked.
Stainless steel grade 301 is suitable for all forms of standard
welding methods. The use of grade 308L as filler metal is
recommended. Welded parts in grade 301 must be subjected to
annealing in order to attain maximum corrosion resistance. For
grades 301L and 301LN annealing is not necessary after welding. The
purpose of welding followed by annealing is to remove the high
strength brought about by cold rolling.
The process of spot welding is used to assemble the cold rolled 301
components; this rapid welding technique does not hamper the
overall strength of the component.
Some of the typical applications of grade 301 stainless steels are
- Making rail car structural components
- Air frame sections
- Highway trailer components
- Automotive wheel covers
- Wiper blade clips and holders
- Stove element clips
- Screen frames
- Toaster springs
- Curtain walls