Making Your Equipment Safer

What The "303" Designation Means In Your 303 Stainless Steel

Metals always have some sort of designation number, letters, or descriptive adjective attached to them. In the case of stainless steel, you understand that the word "stainless" means that it is not likely to rust or corrode, ever. Yet, some stainless steel products have additional designations. When you are looking to buy some of this metal product, you may see numbered designations (e.g., 303). To understand what "303" means as it applies to steel, the following is provided. Companies like A & C Metals - Sawing Inc.can provide you with samples of this type of metal.

303 Is an Alloy

Stainless 303 is an alloy. It has a very specific composition and particular features that set it apart from other steels and other stainless steels. It contains almost a fifth of chromium and a smaller percentage of nickel stainless steel. This "recipe" is what defines the 303 stainless forms of steel. 

303 Is Austenitic

The word, "austenitic," is a steel classification. It refers to the crystalline structure of the metal with austenite being the main additive and component in the formation of this steel. The nickel addition in its "recipe" stabilizes the austenite and the overall structure of the alloy. There are only two nickel-infused stainless steels with austenite in them, and 303 is one of them. It is something worth knowing and something to consider when you are looking at purchasing any stainless products with which to construct products for sale to the public. 

303 Is Non-Magnetized

This alloy cannot be magnetized and is not magnetized in its making or composition. That is good news for consumers who do not want to construct anything from a metal that is magnetized (or can be magnetized). Whatever you have in mind that you can make with stainless and want to keep it from having a magnetic property, this would be the product for it.

303 Is Not Hardenable by Heat Treatment

You cannot alter the hardness of this steel with tempering. While that may be a drawback in some circumstances, it can definitely benefit any project or construction of a product where the steel will be exposed to high heat on a continuous basis. An example here is constructing a commercial dishwasher. These are often made from stainless steel, and stainless 303 is ideal for these machines because of the high-temperature water and steam to which they are exposed. They would not need to be tempered during construction either, because it is not likely that anyone would attempt to destroy them by extreme force.