Austenitic stainless steels are a form of stainless steel that contain significant amounts of chromium and nickel, often manganese, molybdenum, and nitrogen as a supplement to the iron base. The addition of nickel to otherwise ferritic chrome-iron alloys yields predominately austenitic alloys. The microstructure change brings a marked increase in ductility and toughness.
The family of austenitic stainless steels is, by far, the most widely used of the stainless alloys in industrial markets. That is because corrosion resistance provided by austenitics is generally the best of all standard stainless types. Materials are non-hardenable (hardness ranges 130 to 200 BHN), non-magnetic to slightly magnetic, and are readily weldable and machinable.