Alloy 446, also known as Stainless Steel 446, contains a high level of chromium in its composition and therefore demonstrates high resistance to both corrosion and oxidation. In fact, it possesses the best oxidation resistance out of any of the 400 grades of stainless steels. It may equal that of the 300 grades, but tends to display lower resistance to high temperature applications. However, it displays resistance to both molten copper and molten brass, and is the only heat resistant alloy to do so.
Alloy 446 is commonly applied in high temperature situations that require excellent corrosion and oxidation resistance. It is utilized in burners, boiler parts, and other thermal applications. The alloy is best applied within the temperature range of 1500 – 2100°F. At approximately 1000°F, the alloy is opened up to the potential of embrittlement. Many high chromium alloys are susceptible to this.
To minimize this possibility, it is necessary for Alloy 446 to be formed and bended at low speeds. Annealing can also be utilized for embrittling prevention. Fillers may also be applied to maximize ductility.