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Stainless steel is sometimes considered to be an expensive material. However, experience has shown that using a corrosion resistant material in order to avoid future maintenance, downtime and replacement costs can produce economic benefits which far outweigh higher initial material costs.
Ferritic, martensitic and duplex stainless steels tend to become brittle as the temperature is reduced, in a similar way to other ferritic / martensitic steels. The austenitics stainless steels such as 304 (1.4301) and 316 (1.4401) are however 'tough' at cryogenic temperatures and can be classed a 'cryogenic steels'.
Stainless steels are widely used in food and beverage manufacturing and processing industries for manufacture, bulk storage and transportation, preparation and presentation applications.
The 316 types are used widely in marine applications, but their corrosion resistance in contact with seawater is limited and they cannot be considered 'corrosion proof' under all situations. They are susceptible to localized attack mechanisms, principally crevice and pitting corrosion. This limits the scope for the use of these steels in seawater contact.