Stainless Steel - Cryogenic Properties

Austenitic stainless steels exhibit a wide range of properties, which enables them to be used at very low (cryogenic) temperatures. At cryogenic temperatures these steels have higher tensile strengths than those at ambient temperatures. However, their toughness is slightly degraded at this temperature.

Impact Strength

Typical impact strengths of stainless steels are shown in Figure 1. Austenitic stainless steels have been extensively employed for applications involving the use of liquefied natural gas at temperatures of -161°C, and also in plants for generating liquefied gases. Boiling point of liquid nitrogen is -196°C and that of liquid oxygen is -183°C.

Analyze Your Metals | Request a Quote

Figure 1 - illustrates the relationship between i mpact strength and temperature.

Ductile to Brittle Transition

Precipitation hardening, martensitic and ferritic steels are not preferred for use in negative temperatures as they tend to experience a fall in toughness at moderately low temperatures, and at temperatures slightly below room temperature in some cases. The duplex stainless steels have better low temperature ductility when compared to martensitic and ferritic grades. Duplex steels can be used down to at least -50°C, which makes them suitable for lower temperature applications.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback
Your comment type

While we only use edited and approved content for Azthena answers, it may on occasions provide incorrect responses. Please confirm any data provided with the related suppliers or authors. We do not provide medical advice, if you search for medical information you must always consult a medical professional before acting on any information provided.

Your questions, but not your email details will be shared with OpenAI and retained for 30 days in accordance with their privacy principles.

Please do not ask questions that use sensitive or confidential information.

Read the full Terms & Conditions.