Stainless steel & Magnetism

Stainless steel – magnetic or not?

Is stainless steel magnetic?

This question is not that easy to answer and can be a little confusing. One believes that high quality stainless steel is generally non-magnetic. Or you can hear again and again that magnetic stainless steel is always of low quality. However, both statements are not quite correct.

In the following summary we would like to deepen your knowledge of the subject of "magnetic stainless steel".

Which stainless steel is magnetic?
Ferritic or austenitic stainless steel?

The most common stainless steels can be classified by different grades depending on their content of iron, carbon, chromium and other additives such as nickel, titanium or molybdenum.

If a steel consists largely of an iron alloy, it can be assigned to the group of stainless steels.

Therefore, let us focus exclusively on stainless steel.

However, "ordinary" steel can also be rustproof and stainless steel can rust, in case it does not content the needed alloy.

The ratio of the additives such as iron, carbon, chromium, nickel and others define the properties of the stainless steels.

Furthermore, they are rather poor heat conductors and highly corrosion resistant. Stainless steel also has limited electrical conductivity unlike other types of steel.

Austenitic, ferritic and martensitic steel - these are the three groups of stainless steel, the so-called structures, which mainly differ in their nickel content.

The composition of the structure determines how magnetic the iron content of the corresponding stainless steel is.

The processing of stainless steel can also have an influence on the magnetism of the material.

Magnetic properties of stainless steel depend on the structure and processing!

In principle, ferritic stainless steels are more magnetic than austenitic and martensitic ones, which are generally not magnetic.

The majority of the more than 120 most common types of stainless steel are not magnetic.

The fact that a stainless steel is corrosion resistant does not affect its magnetism.

Ergo: The quality of a stainless steel says nothing about its magnetic properties. It would also be wrong to say that stainless steel is never magnetic.

There are certain stainless steel products, in which customers want a magnetism and magnetic properties to be present, for example in cookware for induction plates.

In the "austenitic steel" structure, also known as "AISI 304 steel" or 1.4301 or "V2A steel” the products are predominantly non-magnetic.

When is magnetism of stainless steel important?

This is how we come to the realization that stainless steel can be magnetic and at the same time of high quality and corrosion resistant.

In certain applications, however, it is very important that the stainless steel has no magnetic characteristics.

Magnetic stainless steel may not be used in sensitive applications in which interference from electromagnetic radiation can occur, e.g. in space and aviation industries or in medical technology applications.

This means that stainless steel can generally also be magnetic. However, this does not represent any evaluation of the quality of the material. It depends on the structure and the type of processing. The stainless steel product can also be magnetic in certain parts and not magnetic in others, which can be assigned to different steel alloys.

Thus, the importance of magnetism is to be defined by the requirements of the customer or by the future application of the product in a particular case and if the customer expressly wishes for a magnetic stainless steel.

mirrorINOX – Your expert for magnetic, non-magnetic stainless steel and more

At mirrorINOX, we process and finish both magnetic and non-magnetic stainless steel and other materials.

Non-magnetic stainless steels are more suitable for certain products, for example for mirror-polished surfaces, nevertheless the use of magnetic stainless steel is also possible.

Magnetism plays no role in numerous other surface treatments.

mirrorINOX is the young, innovative company when it comes to high-quality and advanced, future-oriented surface treatments.

At our regionally located and state-of-the-art industrial production units and their adjoining warehouse, we process stainless steel sheets and other stainless steel products as well as non-ferrous metals into prestigious and functional surfaces. Our products give great attractivity in terms of aesthetics and functionality to even the most exclusive construction projects, artwork, machines of all kinds and many other products.

  • Mechanical high gloss/ mirror polishing up to 4,000 x 16,000 mm
  • Bead blasting up to 2,000 x 6,000 mm
  • PVD/TiN-coating up to 2,000 x 6,000 mm
  • Nano-coating nanoINOX® AFP/ ETC up to 1,500 x 6,000 mm (transparent + coloured)
  • Vibration grid-polishing / wide band grid-polishing / Hairline grid-polishing up to 2,000 x 6,000 mm
  • Large stock in Super Mirror No. 8 (including special / customized dimensions) and PVD Gold-TiN / Black-TiN / Rose Gold-TiN / Bronze-TiN and others
  • Applications: façade/architectural metal construction, elevator and escalator industry, shop fitting, exhibition building, artwork, ship/yacht construction, machinery housing (e.g. coffee machines) and many more

Whether for small quantities such as single sheets or for large architectural and industrial projects:

Our team does not set itself any limits when it comes to achieving new goals and solutions and sees its task in constant work on the development of new surfaces and products for the most demanding customers with great know-how and a lot of passion and pleasure.

This is why we are able to manufacture the finest products cost-efficiently, of high-quality and tailor-made.