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Should 304 or 440 stainless steel bearings be selected in corrosive environments?

Should 304 or 440 stainless steel bearings be selected in corrosive environments?


AISI 304 Stainless Steel vs. Hardened AISI 440C

304 stainless steel bearings have better corrosion resistance

440C stainless steel is a high carbon and high chromium martensitic stainless steel. The carbon content is 1.0% and the chromium content is 17%.


Scope of application: It is mainly used to manufacture bearing parts working in corrosive environment and non-lubricated strong oxidizing atmosphere. 

440C has good high temperature dimensional stability, so it can also be used as corrosion resistant high temperature bearing steel. In addition, it can also be used to manufacture high-quality knives, such as medical scalpels, scissors, nozzles, bearings, etc. 

The 440C has a lower ability to withstand dynamic loads.

304 is austenitic stainless steel, and 440 is ferritic stainless steel. There are many specific differences, different chemical compositions, and different uses.

304 stainless steel is the most widely used steel grade, with good corrosion resistance, heat resistance, low temperature strength and mechanical properties. The room temperature processing performance such as deep drawing and bending is good, and it will not harden after heat treatment.

440 stainless steel is a high-strength cutting tool steel with a slightly higher carbon content. After proper heat treatment, a higher yield strength can be obtained, and the hardness can reach 58HRC, which is one of the hardest stainless steels. 

The most common application example is "razor blades". Corrosion resistance is worse than 304.

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