1.4003 is recognised as the original and now the world’s most specified 12% chromium utility ferritic stainless steel.
The main advantage of these utility ferritics over other ferritic stainless steels is that they are tough, even when
welded, in thicknesses of up to 30mm and retain their toughness at temperatures below freezing point.
The corrosion resistance of the utility ferritics is largely determined by their chromium content and is thus
similar to other 12% chromium ferritic stainless steels.
In terms of atmospheric corrosion resistance, the utility ferritics are superior to mild steel, weathering steel, copper and aluminium.
When exposed to aggressive atmospheric conditions, staining may occur, but this does not affect the lifetime performance. However, if aesthetic appearance is important, it is recommended that the utility ferritics are painted or a more corrosion resistant stainless steel is used.
The utility ferritics have also found widespread use in wet sliding abrasion conditions and in aqueous environments involving exposure and/or immersion.
The applications include materials handling (bulk handling, coal, sugar, agriculture, abattoirs), road transport (passenger vehicles, coaches and buses, trucks, freight and utility vehicles), rail transport (freight, passenger rail, light rail, rail infrastructure), petrochemicals and chemical, power generation, telecommunication cabinets and electrical enclosures and water and sewage treatment.