What are the components used in stainless steel?

09 Dec, 2022



Stainless steel metal is formed by melting raw materials such as nickel, iron ore, chromium, silicon and molybdenum. Stainless steel metal contains a variety of basic chemical elements that, when fused together, form a powerful alloy.



Usually,stainless steels contain Iron (Fe), Chrome (Cr), Carbon (C), Silicon (Si), Manganese (Mn) and Nickel (Ni).

Depending on the grade of stainless steel, chromium (Cr), carbon (C), nickel (Ni), molybdenum (Mo), silicon (Si), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), titanium (Ti), sulfur (S), niobium (Nb) and other elements are also added or removed.

 The following table detail the different components of stainless steel and how they affect stainless steel.




Elemental role and features

Iron (Fe)

Iron is the basic element of steel

Chrome (Cr)

The main element that determines the performance of stainless steel and enhances corrosion resistance, hardness, and toughness

Carbon (C)

Improve strength, hardness and wear resistance, but the more carbon content, the worse the plasticity, weldability and corrosion of stainless steel

Nickel (Ni)

An important element in the formation of austenite at a high price. Together with chromium, it can significantly improve the corrosion resistance of stainless steel

Manganese (Mn)

Manganese and nitrogen can replace nickel in chromium-nickel stainless steel,It reduces the critical quenching rate of the steel and increases the stability of austenite during cooling


Manganese and nitrogen can replace nickel in chromium-nickel stainless steel,Can significantly improve the strength of the steel. However, the age-Cracking of stainless steel has a greater impact, so the nitrogen content should be strictly controlled in the stainless steel for stamping purposes.

Silicon (Si)

Formation of ferrite elements, in general stainless steel for the commonly existing impurity elements

Copper (Cu)

Enhance corrosion resistance and wear resistance, the higher the copper content, the softer the material the better the stretching

Titanium (Ti)、Niobium (Nb)

Can improve the steel's resistance to intergranular corrosion. However, titanium carbide has a negative impact on the surface quality of stainless steel, so in the surface requirements of stainless steel generally through the addition of niobium to improve performance.

Molybdenum (Mo)

Enhances strength, hardness, hardenability and toughness, improves machinability and corrosion resistance


Impurity elements, affecting corrosion resistance and stamping

Sulfur (S)、Selenium (Se)

Impurity elements, they reduce the toughness of stainless steel, appropriate addition can improve the cutting performance

Related News
[2021-10-15] What is stainless steel [2022-12-09] Seven advantages of stainless steel... [2024-03-30] How to Polish and Buff Stainless St...