What Is Stainless Steel?
300 Series Austenitic
300 series austenitic stainless steels are non-magnetic. When nickel is added to stainless steel in sufficient amounts, the crystal structure changes to "austenite." The basic composition of 300 series austenitic stainless steels is 18% chromium and 8% nickel. This enhances their corrosion resistance and modifies the structure from ferritic to austenitic. Austenitic grades are the most commonly used stainless steels, accounting for more than 70% of production. (Alloy 304/304L followed by Alloy 316L are the most commonly specified grades by far.) They are not hardenable by heat treatment.