Stainless steel grade 301 301L 301LN

Stainless steel Automotive wheel covers
Stainless steel Automotive wheel covers

Stainless steel grade 301 301L 301LN

Grade 301 is a high work-hardening rate austenitic stainless steel. It can be supplied with a tensile strength of up to over 1300 MPa in strip and wire forms, to produce tempers in the range of 1/16 Hard to Full Hard.

The controlled analysis of Grade 301 enables it to retain sufficient ductility in conditions up to 1/2 Hard conditions to be roll or brake formed into aircraft, architectural and particularly rail car structural components. However, 3/4 to Full Hard tempers should be used whenever high wear resistance and spring features are required in components of simple form designs.

Grade 301L with low carbon is preferred for improved ductility or if heavy sections are to be welded, and another variant 301LN has a higher nitrogen content to compensate for the lower carbon.

ASTM A666 covers all three variants, and some are also included in Japanese specification JIS G4305 and Euronorm EN 10088-2.

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Stainless steel grade 301 301L 301LN Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance is similar to that of 304. Good resistance in applications involving external exposure to mildly corrosive conditions at ambient temperatures.

Stainless steel grade 301 301L 301LN Heat Resistance

Good oxidation resistance in intermittent service to 840°C and in continuous service to 900°C, although not usually chosen for this environment. Exposure to temperatures above about 400°C will result in progressive removal of work hardening effects; at approximately 800°C the strength will be similar to an annealed 301. In creep applications a work hardened grade 301 can even reduce to lower strength than an annealed 301.

Stainless steel grade 301 301L 301LN Heat Treatment

Solution Treatment (Annealing)

Heat to 1010-1120°C and cool rapidly. Use low side of range for intermediate annealing. This grade cannot be hardened by thermal treatment.

Stainless steel grade 301 301L 301LN Cold Working

Stainless steel Automotive wheel covers
Stainless steel Automotive wheel covers
Grade 301 and its low carbon variants are used where a high strength stainless steel is required. The grades work harden at the very high rate of approximately 14MPa/%Ra (14MPa increase in tensile strength for each 1% reduction of area of cold work), resulting in high achievable strengths from cold rolling and from roll forming.

The strain-hardened austenite is at least partially transformed to martensite by this work. Despite the high strengths achieved there is still enough residual ductility to enable significant cold deformation. Although non-magnetic in the annealed condition, when cold worked the grades become strongly attracted to a magnet.

Stainless steel grade 301 301L 301LN Welding

Good characteristics suited to all standard methods. Grade 308L filler rod is recommended. Welds in Grade 301 must be annealed for maximum corrosion resistance; this is not necessary in 301L or 301LN. Welding and post weld annealing will both remove high strength induced by prior cold rolling.

Spot welding is commonly used to assemble cold rolled 301 components. The very small heat affected zone associated with this rapid welding technique results in little reduction of overall component strength.

Stainless steel grade 301 301L 301LN Typical Applications

Rail car structural components - often roll formed, brake pressed or stretch formed to profiles but also used flat. Airframe sections. Highway trailer components. Automotive wheel covers, wiper blade holders and clips. Toaster springs, stove element clips. Screen frames, curtain walls.




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