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New member of the duplex stainless steel family launched

Outokumpu Oyj : 25 October, 2010  (New Product)
A new duplex stainless steel grade featuring a higher mechanical strength than the major duplex grades on the market has been launched by Outokumpu.
Duplex stainless steel is fast becoming the material of choice for a wide range of stainless steel applications from architectural landmarks to a host of industrial processes. This trend is gaining further impetus with the launch by Outokumpu of a new duplex stainless steel grade featuring a higher mechanical strength than the major duplex grades on the market.

Duplex stainless steel grades are commonly grouped into lean duplex, standard duplex and super duplex grades depending on their alloy content and corrosion resistance. The newest addition to this continuum, Outokumpu LDX 2404®, shares the properties of lean duplex grades but differs from all other duplex grades in that it offers higher mechanical strength.

As such, the new grade is excellently positioned over the standard austenitic grade 316L and other duplex grades wherever the new grade’s high strength can be utilised – in bulk liquid storage tanks, road and rail tankers, pulp and paper machinery and water treatment facilities, among many other uses.

The new LDX 2404 is also significantly more corrosion resistant than 316 due to a higher PRE value (higher Cr and N). This makes it excellently suited to the salty atmospheric conditions of buildings located close to the sea, for example, which can otherwise be prone to discolouration and pitting. The grade’s higher mechanical strength, which often allows thinner gauges to be used, offers additional benefits.

Chemical tankers today transport various types of loads, but in general, they all have strict requirements regarding pitting corrosion. The combination of corrosion resistance and higher strength of LDX 2404® makes it a highly cost-effective solution for such applications.

What makes duplex stainless steel special is that for the corrosion resistance offered by any specific traditional austenitic grade, there is nearly always a duplex counterpart that offers the same or better corrosion resistance, but also twice the strength. This, combined with the fact that these properties have been achieved with a lower overall alloy content than similar-performing austenitic grades, effectively ensures that the material can be used to achieve major thickness reductions and cost savings in a host of applications.

Storage tanks are an excellent example. The choice of duplex over austenitic grades offering similar corrosion resistance in the construction of tanks for the storage of liquid foods and chemicals has provided up to 50% material savings in some tank sections.

Commercial Manager Jan Engfeldt from Outokumpu explains: “As an example, the shell of a certain industrial storage tank would weigh 117 tonnes if built in standard stainless 4404 (316L). If built in LDX 2404® the shell weighs only 72 tonnes. This is a thirtyfive tonnes saving in just one tank. Calculating the costs over a large project the savings can be quite significant.”

Other characteristic benefits of duplex stainless steels are low nickel content for price stability, as well as good fabrication properties and excellent resistance to pitting, crevice corrosion and stress corrosion cracking – translating into less maintenance, longer service life and minimised lifecycle cost.

It is often too little appreciated that stainless steel is 100% recyclable. Today, the recycled content of Outokumpu stainless steel is approximately 85%, and higher than the global industry average of 60% (according to the International Stainless Steel Forum ISSF).

Furthermore, stainless steel releases a very low level of metal ions to the environment and requires no hazardous coatings. Thanks to the high strength of duplex stainless steel, it is possible to reduce the weight of structures and lower energy consumption in transportand construction.

A new landmark is nearing completion in downtown Stockholm, the Stockholm Waterfront project incorporating a major congress center. The ambitions of the project include bringing exciting contemporary architecture to one of the most defining sections of the Swedish capital and implementing a green building concept focusing on energy consumption and sustainable materials. Here, cifecycle was an important criterion in the materials selection. After consultation with Outokumpu about stainless grades, corrosion resistance and strength, the architects became convinced that duplex stainless steel would be the correct choice.
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