CNC Machining Materials

Stainless Steel CNC Machining

Stainless steel alloys have high toughness, ductility, wear, and rust resistance. Stainless steel is easy to be welded, machined, and polished.

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Stainless Steel CNC Machining

Stainless steel is one type of low carbon steel with the ability to resist deterioration which is the primary thing that differentiates stainless steel from normal steel. What collections stainless steel apart from typical steel is the addition of chromium in its alloys. All stainless-steel chemical structures consist of at least 10.5% chromium. The addition of chromium makes these steels more rust-resistant. The different qualities of this material have numerous alloying aspects that enhance deterioration resistance, warmth treatability, and machinability. It must be noted that warmth therapy can dramatically impact the metal’s mechanical properties.

Stainless steels can be identified based on their crystalline structure. This includes Austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, and duplex:
Austenitic stainless steel, such as 300- and 200-series stainless, is extremely formable and does not function to harden. They are also non-magnetic in a stiff problem.
Ferritic stainless steels are magnetic and use far better thermal conductivity than austenitic stainless. They can not be solidified by warmth therapy.
Martensitic stainless steel such as quality 416 and 420 can be hardened with multiple techniques of aging or heat therapies.
Duplex stainless steel, also called austenitic-ferritic, are grade of stainless that is highly specialized for enhanced rust resistance. Duplex steels are normal in industrial and architectural structuring.

The material residential properties related to stainless steel have made it a prominent steel within a broad series of industries, including building and construction, automobile, aerospace, and more. Within these markets, Stainless steel is flexible and is an efficient selection for lots of applications.

Stainless Steel Subtypes

Ultimate tensile strength Yield strength Young’s modulus (modulus of elasticity) Elongation at break Corrosion resistance Magnetism Weldability Application
Stainless Steel
510 – 590 MPa 200 – 230 MPa 200 – 212 GPa 35 – 46 % Excellent Non-magnetic in annealed condition Good Rail car structural components Air frame sections Automotive wheel covers Wiper blade clips and holders Learn More
Stainless Steel
580 – 700 MPa 205 – 350 MPa 192 – 200 GPa 40 – 50 % Moderate Non-magnetic Poor Aircraft applications including fittings Shafts and spindles Automatic screw machine applications Medical devices with screw threads Drilled or tapped holes Pump and valve parts Architecturalapplications Nuts and bolts Learn More
Stainless Steel 304/304L 520-600 MPa 210-250 MPa 191 – 205 GPa 43-45 % Good No Excellent Food handling and precessing equipment Food processing Architectural panelling Sanitary ware and troughs Tubing Learn More
Stainless Steel 316/316L 480 – 600 MPa 170 – 230 MPa 190 – 205 GPa 38-55 % Excellent Non-magnetic Excellent Chemical and petrochemical industry Food processing Pharmaceuticalequipment Medical devices Potable water Wastewater treatment Marine applications Learn More
Stainless Steel 
440 – 580 MPa 275 – 345 MPa 200 GPa 7 – 25 % Moderate Magnetic Poor Valves Pump & motor shafts Washing machine components Gears & bolts Nuts & studs Automatic screw-machined components Learn More
Stainless Steel 
485-750 MPa 275-380 MPa 190 – 205 GPa 15 – 20 % Moderate Magnetic Good Shear blades Needle valves Surgical equipment Learn More
Stainless Steel
450 – 500 MPa 200 – 280 MPa 200 GPa 20 – 24 % Good Magnetic Good Low cost sinks Refrigerators Stove element supports Scientific apparatus Fasteners Flue linings Learn More
Stainless Steel  440C 560 – 800 MPa 340 – 430 MPa 204 – 215 GPa 14 – 18 % Moderate Magnetic Poor Gage blocks Ball bearings and races Molds and dies Valve components Measuring instruments Learn More
Stainless Steel
17-4 PH
790 – 1200 MPa 520 – 860 MPa 197 – 207 GPa 3 – 16 % Excellent Magnetic Moderate Aerospace applications Base plates Chemical processing equipment Oil and petroleum refining equipment Nuclear components Learn More

Stainless Steel CNC Machining Surface Finishes

Stainless Steel CNC Machining Gallery

Cost-saving Design Tips

To reduce the cost of stainless steel alloys, below are some design tips:

1.Choose the right alloy

Not all stainless steels are equal in price. Make sure that the picked material is fit for the application. These metals are usually optimal in harsh environments yet not all are resistant to the exact same chemicals. 


Some stainless steels are much more machinable than others. When only light deterioration resistance is required, take into consideration making use of free-machining stainless steel to minimize machining prices.


The 300 series family (303, 304, etc.) are austenitic stainless steels (after their crystalline structure) and are the most widely produced grades worldwide. Austenitic stainless grades are known for their high corrosion resistance and high strength across wide temperature ranges. They are not heat-treatable except by cold working, and are generally non-magnetic.

400 series stainless steels are the martensitic family and not as common as austenitic grades. Martensitic steels are extremely strong and tough due to higher carbon content, but more susceptible to corrosion in certain environments. They can be heat-treated to greatly increase their hardness and are magnetic.

The 300 series family are the most widely used grades. 303 Stainless Steel is the fastest to machine. It maintains good corrosion resistance for industrial machining parts. 303 stainless steel is easily modified, making it ideal for a variety of parts, such as screws, nuts, bolts, gears & shafts.

Thin walls require extra care when CNC machining stainless steel. The absolute minimum thickness is 0.5mm for metals. To minimize costs and machining time, it’s recommended to increase the thickness of thin walls to at least 0.8mm. Unless weight is a determining factor thicker walls are more stable and less costly. Thin features are susceptible to vibration, creating extra complexity and requiring considerably more time in machining operations.

Yes, stainless steels tend to be one of the most difficult metals to work with in CNC machining. Stainless steel gets harder over time, instead of wearing, which combined with the high-heat generation in machining stainless steel, can contribute to tool failure. Getting speeds and feeds right as well as proper tooling is key.

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