Engineering Bulletin

Service Temperatures of Austenitic Steels & Other Materials

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Most common reasons for using stainless steels are their corrosion resistance and their high temperature properties. Therefore stainless steels can be found in applications where high temperature oxidation resistance is necessary and in applications where high temperature strength is required. The high chromium content which is so beneficial to the wet corrosion resistance of stainless steels is also highly beneficial to their high temperature strength.

Most austenitic steels, with chromium contents of at least 18%, can be used at temperatures up to 1500°F and Grade 310 (Cr content: up to 26%) even higher – up to 2000°F. Because of the problem of grain boundary carbide precipitation, discussed in Engineering Bulletin #103, prolonged exposure to the temperature in the 1100°F to 1400°F range should be avoided.

The table below shows the (approximate) maximum service temperatures of austenitic steels & other common materials.

Maximum Service Temperatures of Austenitic Steels & Other Common Materials in Dry Air

Alloy Temperature
°F °C
Inconel 600 2150 1175
310 2100 1150
Inconel 625 1800 982
Hastelloy C276 800 427
304/304L 1500* 816
321 1500* 816
316L 1500* 816
AL6XN 1000 538
Monel 400 800 427
Bronze 450 232
Brass 450 232
Copper 400 204

Note: the temperature ratings in the table are general guidelines and could change if corrosives are present, such as sulfur, carbon, etc. In some cases ASME codes will reduce temperature limits too.

*For applications where temperatures exceed 1000°F, read about H Grade alloys in Bulletin #137 or contact us.

Disclaimer: The info presented here has been compiled from sources believed to be reliable. No guarantee is implied or expressly stated here and the data given is intended as a guide only.

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