Martensitic stainless steels are the first branch of the plain chromium stainless steels. These were the first stainless steels industrially developed (as stainless steel cutlery). They have a relatively high carbon (C) content and a chromium (Cr) content of 12 to 18%.

The common specifications are wrought 410, 420, 431 and the cast CA-6NM,

Basic properties of the martensitic stainless steels include:
  • Moderate corrosion resistance
  • Pardonable by heat treatment and therefore high strength and hardness levels can be developed
  • Very limited weldability
  • Lower ductility than ferritic grades.

Common uses include applications that need strength and hardness such as knife blades, surgical instruments, fasteners, spindles, nozzles, shafts, impellers and springs.

Common martensitic stainless steel grades and their applications