50 grades of stainless steel

The BSSA has selected 50 Grades of Stainless Steel as its theme for 2014. Each week throughout the year, we will showcase one grade and illustrate the variety of corrosion resistant, mechanical and physical properties which determine its suitability for a wide range of applications.



201 1.4372 S20100

201 is typical of the 200 series of stainless steels. These steels use manganese to replace nickel in austenitic stainless steels, mainly in order to make them lower cost. 201 is broadly similar to 304 for corrosion resistance but with some important differences in mechanical properties.

Approximate Composition – 17% Cr, 6.0% Mn, 4.5% Ni, 0.10% N. (Exact composition ranges vary between EN and ASTM standards).

This grade combines the following characteristics:

  • Good pitting and crevice corrosion resistance similar to 304
  • Higher strength than 304. 350 MPa minimum 0.2% PS compared to 230 MPa for 304
  • Higher work hardening rate than 304 leading to different forming characteristics
  • High manganese leads to greater refractory erosion in melting shops

201 is a typical austenitic manganese bearing stainless steel. The 200 series steels vary greatly from one region to another. There is a very large market in India and China for kitchen utensils and catering equipment. This is mainly due to the scarcity of nickel in those countries. The USA also has a relatively high usage. In contrast, Europe has a much lower usage, preferring the nickel bearing 300 series. Although 201 and 304 are comparable in corrosion resistance, potential substitution should be carefully considered particularly in the area of forming.

Applications which illustrate these features include:

Pots and pans, sinks, catering equipment, banding, automotive trim, shipping containers, air bags, window channel spacers.

Find out more about the 50 Grades of Stainless Steel campaign

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