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Properties of 440 Steel
19/08/2016

Grade 440 stainless steels have very high carbon content, especially the types 440C and 440F. Grades 440A and 440B are almost identical to 440C and 440F, but have slightly lower carbon contents, showing higher corrosion resistance. The properties of grade 440 steels include high strength, hardness, melting point and thermal conductivity, as well as lower resistance to corrosion, when compared to other stainless steel types. Grade 440C is the most available of all 440 stainless steels. Applications include knife blades, surgical instruments and chisels.

Lower Resistance to Corrosion
Although most stainless steel show high resistance to corrosion, grade 440 steels are less resistant than other types of steel. This is due to their higher carbon content, which in grade 440A ranges from 0.60 to 0.75 percent; in grade 440B ranges from 0.75 to 0.95 percent and in grade 440C can reach 1.20 percent. However, 440 steels can have good resistance to the atmosphere, fresh water, foods, alkalies and weak acids.

Melting Point and Thermal Conductivity
Melting point is the minimum temperature required to change the state of a material from solid to liquid. Most metals have high melting points. Grade 440 stainless steels have melting points in the range of 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Thermal conductivity refers to a material's ability to conduct heat, and it is measured in watts per kelvin-meter. Grade 440 stainless steels have high thermal conductivity, in the range of 11.2 to 36.7 watts per kelvin-meter.

Formability
The degree of formability a material presents refers to its ability to undergo deformation without breakage or damage. Formability is an important property of steels, which allows them to be molded into finished products of various shapes. Grades 440A, 440B and 440C stainless steels have moderate formability, being best worked at temperatures lower than 1,000 degrees Fahrenheit. Tempering the material above this temperature often results in lower hardness and corrosion resistance.

Hardness
Hardness refers to the steel's ability to resist scratching or indention when a force is applied. Harder steel grades, such as the 440, are more durable. However, they are also more difficult to machine or work into finished products. Grade 440C stainless steel is the hardest among grade 440 types. The hardness of stainless steels can be increased with heat treatment, which involves a series of temperature changes.