The Many Uses of 17-4 Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is a preferred material for construction and production for a variety of reasons. The alloy known as 17-4 stainless steel is one of the toughest stainless steel alloys around, created specifically to be tough and corrosion-resistant. It has found a home in a wide variety of industries and applications that make use of its unique properties.

About 17-4 Stainless
This alloy is also known as Type 630, and is an alloy made from chromium and copper with the addition of niobium and other elements like carbon and nickel. Its high chromium content earns it the “Stainless” name. As with all stainless steel, the alloy forms a thin film which provides it with additional resistance to corrosion, rust and staining from water.

This metal retains its hardness and strength to nearly 600 degrees Fahrenheit and while having overall moderate corrosion resistance, it does have some specific resistance to corrosive attacks that makes it useful for specific applications. The metal can be forged and has some ability to be machined. The metal can also be welded by all the standard processes with minimal preparation.

17-4 Stainless for Offshore Applications
The moderate corrosion resistance of 17-4 Stainless makes it a good fit for some offshore applications, particularly if they require strength and they do not require total immersion into stagnant salt water. For instance, foils and helicopter deck platforms can be made quite effectively from this alloy, as well as ship engine turbines.

17-4 Stainless for Mechanical Components
With a yield strength of 1,100 to 1,300 MPa, 17-4 Stainless Steel is a popular alloy for making mechanical components for a variety of industries, from agriculture to aerospace. The high strength even allows it to be used for making turbine blades for aircraft and nuclear power plants.

Other Applications for 17-4 Stainless
The alloy of 17-4 stainless is popular in the food processing industry because of its resistance to corrosives specific to the industry. For similar reasons, the alloy is used in the pulp and paper, chemical processing and dairy industries. This metal is also sometimes used to make nuclear waste casks, thanks to its strength and resistance to specific corrosives.

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