420 Versus 420F Stainless Steel

Alliant Metals is the second distributor in the United States offering 420F stainless steel round bar and the only one on the East Coast.  Those who seek out this specific grade of steel know how hard it can be to come by. That being said, we’re often asked what makes 420F and 420 stainless steel different from each other and why it matters for specific applications.

One of the biggest differences between the two metal grades is that 420F is the image4free machining version of 420, which is already a heat treatable steel. By adding sulfur and other elements to this metal, it increases its ability to be altered through free machining. Free machining steel is a steel that forms small chips when machined, and the increased machinability allows for this steel to be broken off into smaller pieces and avoid complications within the machine. This allows for specific hand tools and smaller instruments to be made in the medical, dental,  and culinary industries as well as in pump shafts, gears, cams and pistons.

420 stainless steel is known to have higher ductility, impact resistance, and shrink fits while 420F allows for faster machine speeds, longer tool life, and larger cuts. Depending on your needs for our stainless steel products, you might find that one type of grade works better for you than others.

As one of the few stainless steel distributors in the country who carry this grade and carry it in round bar stock from 3 to 12 inches in diameter, we are here to provide technical service in 420F or 420 grade along with the vast knowledge base for any other alloy or stainless.

If you cannot find a size or form of 420 or 420F needed for your application, please call us today at (800) 543-1453. Our experts would love to help answer all of your additional questions about 420 and 420F stainless steel which you might need for your business.

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