What is Martensitic Stainless Steel? Properties and Types

Martensitic Stainless Steel

It is a form of stainless steel that can be toughened and hardened using heat and aging processes because of its chemical makeup Martensitic steel is stronger than other types due to these techniques and is thus a valuable material for manufacturing mechanical instruments, valves, turbine parts, and other diverse items.

What is Martensitic Stainless Steel?

Martensitic stainless steel is a type of stainless steel alloy that contains high levels of carbon and other elements such as chromium, manganese, molybdenum, and nickel. It has the ability to be hardened through heat treatment and provides excellent corrosion resistance. It also has good ductility for cold working applications.
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Types of Martensitic Stainless Steel


Due to the high carbon content, martensitic grades can only form in moderately cold conditions. The carbon content of the steel influences heat treatment strength. Carbon concentration increases strength and hardness potential while decreasing ductility and toughness.


High-carbon martensitic steel is typically composed of 0.61% to 1.50% carbon. Steel with a higher carbon content is stronger due to carbon’s ability to fortify the molecular structure. It does, however, make the metal more brittle, making it difficult to weld or shape into various shapes.

Type 410 – 

Type 410 stainless steel is martensitic stainless steel that is used for a variety of applications. Examples include fasteners, springs, pins, cutlery, hardware, gun clips, micrometer components, turbine blades, coal screens, pump rods, nuts, bolts, fittings, ball bearings, shafts, impellers, pistons, and valves. The hardness levels can be changed by modifying the hardening and tempering processes.

Type 420 – 

Because its carbon content ranges from 0.15% to 0.45%, type 420 stainless steel has a wide range of hardness levels in hardened and tempered conditions.

Type 440 – 

When annealed, Type 440A stainless steel is harder than Type 410 or Type 420. This grade of stainless steel is highly desirable for blanking into blades because it can be hardened to RC50 or higher. Because of this grade’s high hardness, blades stay sharper for longer.

Martensitic Stainless Steel Properties

  • Martensitic stainless steel has high strength but low plasticity and weldability.
  • Because of its slightly insufficient corrosion resistance, it is typically used for parts with specific mechanical requirements but only modest corrosion protection requirements, such as springs, steam turbine blades, hydraulic press valves, and so on.
  • They are typically used following the quenching and tempering of this type of steel.
  • Because of the high carbon content in martensitic grades, corrosion resistance is often limited.
  • It has very little weldability due to its hardenability. To minimize cracking and obtain desirable characteristics/properties, preheating and post-weld heat treatment may require special consideration.

Martensitic Stainless Steel Uses

  • Martensitic stainless steels are ideal for heat exchangers and other applications requiring high thermal conductivity because of their excellent heat distribution properties.
  • They have a better chance of keeping their shape at high temperatures because of their low coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE).
  • They are used in aerospace applications that require a high level of stiffness.
  • Medical equipment (scalpels, razors, and internal clamps)
  • Bearings (ball bearings) (ball bearings)
  • Shaver blades
  • Polymer moldings
  • Bicycle and motorcycle brake discs
  • Dental and surgical instruments
  • Industry of petrochemicals


To conclude, martensitic stainless steel is an incredibly strong and versatile material used in a variety of applications. It offers higher yield strength than carbon steel when treated properly and is also corrosion-resistant and non-magnetic. Martensitic stainless steel can be heat treated to increase its hardness levels as well as improve its formability which makes it especially suitable for aerospace and industrial applications. With its increased tensile strength, toughness, and ductility, there are few better materials for jobs which must withstand the elements, as well as demanding mechanical exploitations. While there are still some challenges that need to be addressed with regard to this material such as weldability issues associated with cold cracking, overall this type of stainless steel is a great choice for those who demand durability under immense pressure. As such, Martensitic stainless steel shows no signs of slowing down in terms of innovation or application opportunities anytime soon.


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