Foshan Runtian New Material Technology Co.,Ltd
Can stainless steel rust? Jul 13, 2022

Stainless steel has inherent corrosion resistance, but it rusts under certain conditions – although not as fast or severe as conventional steel. Stainless steel corrodes when exposed to harmful chemicals, salt water, grease, moisture or high temperatures over long periods of time.

For example, Runtian stainless steel 304 tubes&pipes, in the dry and clean atmosphere, has excellent rust resistance, but move it to the coastal area, in the sea mist containing a lot of salt, it will soon rust. Then stainless steel 316 tubes&pipes performed well. Therefore, not any kind of stainless steel, in any environment can resist corrosion, do not rust.

Stainless steel basics

To understand why stainless steel is rust resistant and how this resistance breaks down, it is helpful to understand how these alloys differ from other steels.

Stainless steel contains at least 10.5% chromium. This chromium reacts quickly with the surrounding oxygen, forming a thin layer of oxide on the surface of the steel. Unlike iron oxide, which is usually in the form of flakes and corrosive rust, chromium oxide attaches to steel. Therefore, it acts as a protective barrier. Chromium oxide is called a passivation film, and it isolates the iron in the alloy from the air and water in the environment. This film gives stainless steel rust resistance.

Stainless steel has low maintenance costs and its oxidation and stain resistance make it an ideal material for many applications.

There are four main types of stainless steel: austenitic, ferritic, martensitic and duplex stainless steel. Austenitic stainless steels dominate industry, accounting for more than 70% of total stainless steel production. Its properties include up to 0.15% carbon and a minimum of 16% chromium, resulting in very strong rust protection. Compared to austenitic stainless steels, ferritic stainless steels have reduced corrosion resistance, but are better than martensitic stainless steels. Duplex stainless steels are highly resistant to local corrosion, especially pitting, crevice corrosion and stress corrosion cracking.


Runtian company is the professional manufacturer of stainless steel welded tubes&pipes, coils&sheets and accessories. We’ll continuously provide high quality service and products, improve ourselves to satisfy our customers.

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