> At 10:27 PM 15/08/00 -0400, Tom Lehman wrote:
> >I don't know much about stainless steels, but, I do know that good stainless
> >is anti-magnetic. If your magnet won't attract a stainless steel object,
> >then you know
> >you've got good stainless.
> No offense, but it shows. Stainless steel is essentially a low carbon
> steel with the addition of 10% or more chromium as an alloying agent. 300
> series stainless steels are non-ferrous, meaning they have such a low
> carbon content they are essentially non-magnetic. 400 series stainless
> steels contain slightly more carbon and are slightly magnetic, but not as
> magnetic as regular carbon steel.
> 300 series are typically used where a high degree of corrosion resistance
> is required, such as trim and flashing for decorative purposes, also
> surgical instruments and cookware, where sanitary considerations reign
> supreme. Lacking a carbon component, 300 series are not truly hardenable
> and temperable. Class 304 is sometimes referred to as "Dairy Metal" due
> to it's extensive use in milking rooms.
> 400 series are typically used in steam and gas turbine engine components,
> many of those alloys have found their way into the knives produced by
> the major knife manufacturing concerns, regardless of their suitability
> (meaning, sharpenability, ability to hold an edge, etc.) With the slight
> carbon content, these steels can be hardened and tempered. 440C is a
> popular steel, many will rave about it's suitability in a knife, it was
> developed and first saw the light of day as part of the turbines for
> military and commercial jet engines.