What Does Martensitic Steel Mean?
Generally, the term martensitic refers to a hard crystalline structure. Industrially, martensitic steel is one of the three types of stainless steel alloy which is also a corrosion-resistant alloy.
This alloy can have a low or high percentage of carbon, which gives it the properties of toughness and hardness. A higher percentage of carbon makes martensitic steel tougher and harder. To further improve the properties of this steel alloy, it is tempered. If martensitic steel is not tempered, it becomes brittle and therefore has limited applications.
Corrosionpedia Explains Martensitic Steel
As a part of the stainless steel family, martensitic steel is an alloy mainly composed of chromium and classified in the ferromagnetic group. For meeting different industrial needs, it is available in several grades, each having unique properties. These properties are modified by tempering, changing the chemical composition, and heat treatment, which makes it harder and more ductile.
Typical applications of martensitic stainless steel include:
- Surgical instruments
- Gas turbines
- Cutting utensils
- Ball bearings
Martensitic steel's corrosion-resistant property makes it suitable for use in humid environments. Additionally, it hardens when cooled in oil, water or air. It is important to note that high-carbon martensitic steel is not recommended for welding. Instead, a low-carbon alloy should be used for that purpose.