Is Alloy20 a nickel-based alloy or stainless steel?

Alloy20 (N08020) is an Austenitic nickel-iron-chromium-based superalloy with excellent resistance to total, intergranular, pitting and crevice corrosion in chemicals containing chlorides, sulfuric acid, phosphoric acid and nitric acid. Its corrosion resistance is good between 316L and Hastelloy, and it is not as good as 316L stainless steel in some amine solutions because it is easy to form nickel ammonium complexes.

In addition, it has a good cold forming and weldability even at up to 500℃. The low carbon content and the addition of niobium help to reduce the precipitation of carbides in the HEAT affected zone, so it can be used in the welded state in most cases.

For a long time, many people have been arguing: Is Alloy 20 a stainless steel or a nickel Alloy? Because their 32-38% nickel content is just close to 36%, the boundary between stainless steel and nickel-based alloys blurs the classification of materials. In general, it is true that alloy20 is a nickel alloy. The new edition of ASTM A240 includes alloy 20, which supports that alloys 20 have been classified as stainless steel from the side. Alloy20 plates are in accordance with ASTM B463, ASME SB463. The same materials as N08904 (904L), N08926(1.4529), etc., were early classified in the ASTM B nickel alloy standard series.


Alloy20 has the common characteristics of nickel alloy in terms of welding properties, that is, generally does not produce cold cracks when welding, and is more prone to produce hot cracks. Because of nickel and sulfur, phosphorus can form low melting eutectic, solidification often forms a thick dendritic austenite crystal, low melting point impurity is more likely to focus on grain boundary, the grain size and the effect of solidification shrinkage stress and welding stress, not entirely solidification grain boundary of low melting point material is easy to cracking formation of hot crack, so should strictly control the sulfur and phosphorus content of welding material.

Alloy 20 has excellent resistance to stress corrosion cracking, good resistance to local corrosion, satisfactory corrosion resistance in many chemical process media, chlorine gas and all kinds of media containing chloride, dry chlorine gas, formic and acetic acid, anhydride, seawater and saltwater, etc. At the same time, 20 alloy oxidation-reducing composite media corrosion, is often used in a sulfuric acid environment and containing halogen ions and metal ions sulfuric acid solution applications, such as hydrometallurgy and sulfuric acid industrial equipment.

First developed in 1951 for application in sulfuric acid, alloy 20 is the preferred alloy for sulfuric acid industrial environments. In 20% ~ 40% boiling sulfuric acid, it shows excellent resistance to stress corrosion cracking, and is an excellent material for many industries such as the chemical industry, food industry, pharmaceutical industry and plastics. It can be used in heat exchangers, mixing tanks, metal cleaning and pickling equipment and pipelines. Alloy 20 can also be applied in synthetic rubber manufacturing equipment, pharmaceuticals, plastics, organic and heavy chemical processing, storage tanks, pipes, heat exchangers, pumps, valves and other process equipment, pickling equipment, chemical process pipes, bubble caps, food and dye production is often used.