440C Carbon Chromium Steel

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Type 440 C

  • Hardenable high-carbon chromium steel designed to provide stainless properties with maximum hardness
  • Has maximum hardness together with high strength and corrosion resistance in the hardened and stress relieved condition
  • Always used in the hardened or hardened and stress relieved conditions
  • None of the alloys has its full corrosion resistance either in the annealed or in the hardened and tempered condition
  • Wide applications where good corrosion resistance along with high hardness or abrasion resistance is required

Available Forms

Type 440 C stainless steel is available in:

  • Bar
  • Wire
  • Billets


The following specifications are generally applicable:

  • ASTM A276-67
  • ASTM A314-63
  • ASTM A-580-67
  • QQ-2-763D
  • MIL-S-862B
Type 440 C table

Typical Applications

  • Used in numerous applications in areas where a very hard and abrasion resistant stainless is called for
  • Applications include pivot pins, dental and surgical instruments, cutlery valve parts, ball bearings, nozzles, hardened steel balls and seats for oil well pumps, plus valve parts


Because of the high carbon content, this alloy has an abrasive action on cutting tools. In the annealed condition, its machinability rating is about 40% compared to Bessemer oven stock (AISI B1112). As heat treated, the 440C series is difficult to machine because of its high hardness. For parts that require extensive machining, the free-machining versions, Type 440F or Type 440F Se, offer improved machining properties.


Because of their high hardenability, these steels are seldom welded. However, satisfactory welds are possible by preheating parts to 500 degrees F before welding, followed by a 6- to 8-hour anneal at 1350 - 1400 degrees F and air cooling. When weld rods are required, a composition similar to the parent metal should be used.


If annealed for maximum softness 440C Stainless Steel can be moderately cold formed with only slightly more difficulty than the lower carbon, lower chromium grades of stainless steel. It can also be hot headed. Preheating in the range of 1400 - 1500 degrees F insures the best results in hot working. Parts should be furnace cooled after hot working to prevent cracking.

Corrosion Resistance

This stainless steel has good corrosion resistance in the hardened and stress relieved conditions. Hence, it should, usually, be used only in that condition. This steel is resistant to such conditions as fresh water, steam, crude oil, gasoline, perspiration, and alcohol.


When forging, preheat to 1400-1500 degrees F, then heat slowly and uniformly to 1900-2150 degrees F. Do not forge below 1700 degrees F.

Heat Treatments

PROCESS ANNEAL: Heat at 1350-1450 degrees F, then cool very slowly in the furnace.

FULL ANNEAL: Heat uniformly at 1550-1600 degrees F, soak and cool slowly in furnace to 1000-1250 degrees F at a rate of 20-50 degrees F per hour, then cool in air, oil, or water.

HARDENING: Preheat slowly to 1450 degrees F and soak, then raise temperature to 1850-1950° F, quench in warm oil or air. Products hardness of C55-58 Rockwell.

STRESS RELIEVE: Heat to 300-800 degrees F for 1 to 3 hours, air cool.