300 Series austenitic stainless steel has austenite as its primary phase (face centered cubic crystal). These are alloys containing chromium and nickel, and sometimes molybdenum and nitrogen, structured around the Type 302 composition of iron, 18 hromium, and 8% nickel. 200 Series austenitic stainless steels replace the majority of their nickel content with manganese to reduce cost. Austenitic steels are not hardenable by heat treatment. The most familiar stainless steel is probably SAE 304 stainless steel, also called 18/8 or A2 stainless steel. Type 304 surgical stainless steel is an austenitic steel containing 18-20 hromium and 8-10% nickel.
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1. steel that has enough nickel and chromium or manganese to retain austenite at atmospheric temperatures
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