Why Stainless Steel Corrodes

The magazine "Nature" published two articles in the February 14th 2002 which reported research work done at Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, by Mary P. Ryan and co-workers. This BSSA publication sets out to clarify some of the issues raised on the pitting corrosion resistance of stainless steels. The chromium distribution around sulphide type inclusions in a machinability enhanced (free machining) 316 type is discussed. Reduced chromium in the metal next to the inclusions is suggested as the reason for reduced pitting resistance of stainless steels in general. The sulphur level of the steel investigated is not typical of most of the stainless steels made and so the conclusions on the causes of corrosion may be misleading.

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