The Ultimate Guide for 409 Stainless Steel


The Ultimate Guide for 409 Stainless Steel

You may be curious why 409 stainless steel became a popular SS grade in many industries, such as in automotive industry.

Well, one of the reasons is their exceptional corrosion resistance and cost-effectiveness.

In this guide, we will explore the properties of Grade 409 stainless steel. We will also take a look at its advantages and disadvantages.

You will also learn here the maintenance steps so that can lasts for many years to come.

Let’s get started:

What is 409 Stainless Steel Used for?

Grade 409 is a ferritic type of stainless steel.

It provides good oxidation at high temperatures. Therefore, it is best used for applications that require protection from heat or moisture.

Due to their high wear and tear resistance as well, they can work better for components exposed to wear & tear.

409 Stainless Steel Sheet

Grade 409 Properties

In today’s metal fabrication industry, grade 409 stainless steel is one of the most popular materials.

It is due to their unique properties and features including:

  • Made with good corrosion resistance properties suitable in the mild atmosphere and mild oxidizing environment applications.
  • Can be heated at temperatures of up to 871°C (1600°F).
  • Designed with good strength, especially at a higher temperature.
  • Grade 409 stainless steel is easy to form and fabricate.
  • Can be welded using common fusion and resistance welding methods.
  • Finally, the 409 stainless steel can be stress relieved at temperatures of up to 816°C (1500°F).

Chemical Composition

Carbon (C) Manganese (Mn) Phosphorus (P) Sulfur (S) Silicon (Si)
0.08% max 1.00% max 0.045% max 0.030% max 1.00% max
Chromium (Cr) Nickel (Ni) Nitrogen (N) Iron (Fe) Titanium (Ti)
10.50-11.75% 0.50% max 0.10% max Balance 0.30-0.70%

Where to Use 409 Stainless Steel

409 SS is one of the most versatile stainless steel grades available.

Let’s now discover where they are mostly used. 

Construction Industry

Construction Industry












In construction applications, usually, this type of material is used for:

  • Exhaust systems
  • Structural components
  • Roofing
  • Cladding
  • Door frames
  • Window frames
  • Columns
  • Beams
  • Frames

Food Processing Industry

Food Processing Industry












409 stainless steel is used for manufacturing food preparation equipment such as:

  • Baking pans
  • Cooking utensils
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Conveyor belts
  • Storage tanks
  •  And tanks for transporting food

Oil & Gas Industry

Oil and Gas Industry












Its high-temperature oxidation resistance makes it ideal for manufacturing components in the oil & gas industry. Components include:

  • Exhaust systems
  • Heat exchangers
  • Process equipment exposed to chemicals
  • Pressure vessels
  • Tanks
  • Oil & gas pipelines

Automotive Industry

Automotive Industry












Grade 409 durability makes it ideal for automotive applications. Additionally, its low cost makes it an attractive option for automakers.

It is used to make:

  • Catalytic converters
  • Mufflers
  • Exhaust systems
  • Other automotive components

Aerospace Components

Aerospace Components












In the aerospace industry, it is often used for manufacturing:

  • Exhaust systems
  • Exhaust manifolds
  • Valve covers
  • Exhaust pipes
  • Fasteners, such as nuts and bolts
  • Other components such as brackets and housings

Advantages of Using Grade 409

Wondering why 409 stainless steel is mostly preferred in several industries like those mentioned above?

The following are the reasons why:

  • Durability: 409 SS grade is highly durable and can withstand extreme temperatures.
  • Formability: Another advantage is their high formability. Therefore they can be easy to shape into your desired shape.
  • Aesthetics: The material is also known for its attractive finish. That makes them a great choice for many applications where appearance is important. This includes architectural and decorative applications.
  • Cost: Relatively low cost compared to other stainless steel grades. Then this makes it an attractive option for applications where cost is a major factor.
  • Weldability: And finally, this grade of stainless steel is relatively easy to weld. There


409 stainless steel offers several advantages as discussed above, however, it also has several disadvantages.

  • The first disadvantage is its limited corrosion resistance. While corrosion resistance is good in less aggressive environments, it will not stand up to stronger corrosive agents.
  • The second disadvantage is its relatively low strength. Therefore they are not suitable for use in applications that require high strength.
  • Finally, 409 is vulnerable to stress corrosion breaking. This means that it can develop cracks when exposed to high-stress and corrosive environments.

Welding 409 Stainless Steel

Welding 409 Stainless Steel

Welding grade 409 steel is possible but it is not recommended. As it is designed specifically for high-temperature applications and is not suitable for welding.

This is because, in its high-temperature form, 409 stainless steel becomes extremely brittle and prone to cracking. The additional heat generated by welding can reduce the mechanical properties of the material. Which will then result to make it even more prone to cracking.

So instead of welding, it is recommended to use mechanical fasteners such as rivets, screws and bolts for joining the material. This is a way much safer and more reliable option. As it does not cause any additional heat and does not reduce the material properties.

However, if it is absolutely necessary to weld stainless steel in 409 grade, then it can be done using a filler material, like 309L filler material. This filler material is designed to be used in high-temperature applications and will not cause any additional cracking.

Making sure that the weld is done properly is also important to avoid any cracking.

In conclusion, welding 409 stainless steel is possible, but it is not recommended due to the risk of cracking. It is much safer and more reliable to use mechanical.

409 Stainless Steel Price

By Thickness Price
0.1875″ thick $1.76/square foot
0.2500″ thick $2.37/square foot
0.3125″ thick $2.97/square foot
0.3750″ thick $3.58/square foot
0.4375″ thick $4.18/square foot
0.5000″ thick $4.79/square foot
0.6250″ thick $5.99/square foot
0.7500″ thick $7.19/square foot
0.8750″ thick $8.39/square foot
1.0000″ thick $9.59/square foot

Maintenance Tips

Following the tips below will help you to keep your 409 stainless steel looking great. It also helps last for years to come. With proper maintenance, it can remain to look new and perform its best.

Let’s now explore the maintenance tips one by one:

1. Cleaning: Regularly clean the 409-grade steel to remove surface dirt and debris. You can use a mild detergent, such as dishwashing liquid, to clean the surface. Rinse the surface with clean water.

2. Polishing: Second is periodically uses of soft cloth to buff the material surface. This will help to maintain its shine and luster.

3. Waxing: Third, apply a thin coat of high-quality wax to the surface. This will help to protect the surface from corrosion and from scratches.

4. Routine Inspections: Inspect the 409 steel regularly for signs of wear and tear. Check for any signs of corrosion, such as rust spots. If you find any defects, take steps to repair them immediately.

5. Preventive Maintenance: In order to maintain the longevity of your 409 stainless steel, take steps to prevent it from becoming damaged or dirty. Avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals, abrasive materials, and extreme temperatures.

Dissimilarities of 409 from 316 Stainless Steel

When it comes to stainless steel, the top 2 most popular grades are 409 and 316 grades. And if you are curious about their difference, they differ in terms of composition and corrosion resistance.

Grade 316 409
By Composition 16-18% chromium

10-14% nickel

2-3% molybdenum

10.5-11.75% chromium

0.08% carbon

By Corrosion Resistance Its corrosion protection is much higher than that of 409. Additionally, it is more expensive and difficult to work with than the 409 grade. 409 has lower corrosion protection compared to 316. Therefore it is more prone to rusting and corrosion in certain applications.

Is 409 Stainless Steel Better than 304?

409 and 304

The answer to this question depends on the application for which the stainless steel is being used.

Both 409 and 304 stainless steel have their own pros and cons. And it is important to consider all of the factors before making a decision.

Generally, 304 is more corrosion-proof than 409 because of its higher chromium content. On the other hand, 409 grade is more resistant to high temperatures than 304 grade.

In terms of cost, 409 is generally cheaper. This is because it contains more carbon than 304 stainless steel, and therefore it is less expensive to manufacture.

In terms of appearance, 409 has a more matte finish. But when it comes to durability, both 409 and 304 stainless steels have excellent durability and can last for many years with proper maintenance.

The best option for your application will depend on the specific requirements of your project.

430 VS 409 Stainless Steel

When considering the dissimilarities between 430 stainless steel and 409, it is important to understand that they are both ferritic grades of stainless steel.

The difference between the 430 and 409 grades is mainly in the carbon content and mechanical properties.

Carbon Content

Mechanical Properties

430 – Comprised of 17% chromium and 0.12% carbon.

409 – Comprised of 11% chromium and 0.5% carbon.

430 –With a tensile strength of about 430 MPa and about 275 MPa yield strength.

409 –Significantly weaker, with a tensile strength of only around 210 MPa and around 180 MPa yield strength.

The Difference Between 409 and 410 Stainless Steel

409 and 410 Stainless Steel

409 and 410 stainless steel are two types of stainless steel grades found in industrial and commercial applications.

Though they are both common grades of stainless steel, they have distinct differences that should be taken into account when selecting either grade for a specific application.

The primary difference between 409 and 410 SS grades is the amount of chromium present in each. While 409 stainless steel contains 11 percent chromium, 410 stainless steel contains a higher chromium amount, between 11 and 30%. This increased amount of chromium makes the 410 SS more corrosion-resistant than the 409 SS. Additionally, 410 stainless steel is also magnetic, while 409 is not.

Another difference is that 409 is generally less expensive to produce. This is due to the lower amount of chromium present in this material, which requires less energy to produce.

In terms of applications, 409 SS is used in a wide range of applications, such as automotive exhaust systems and oil & gas equipment. 410 stainless steel is often used in food and beverage processing equipment, such as stainless steel cookware, and in medical applications.

Comparing 409 Stainless Steel from Aluminized Steel

Before you decide which material is best for your applications, you should consider first the desired characteristics of the material.

409 grade of stainless steel is a ferritic alloy that offers extreme heat resistance and excellent rusting protection. While Aluminized Steel consists of a thin layer of aluminum-silicon alloy bonded to a steel base. Although both materials have similar properties, they have different advantages and drawbacks.

409 Stainless Steel has low carbon content, making it softer and more formable than other stainless steel alloys. Its high chromium content, however, gives it excellent corrosion resistance, even in harsh environments. It is widely used in heat shields and other automotive components that need to be exposed to high heat or moisture.

On the other hand, Aluminized Steel is a steel alloy that is coated with an aluminum-silicon alloy. This coating provides excellent corrosion protection, as well as good heat reflectivity. It is typically used in components that require both corrosion protection and heat resistance. Examples are such as exhaust systems and mufflers. Aluminized Steel is also more formable than 409 SS, making it easier to work with in tight spaces.

Manufacturing Techniques

409 Stainless steel is relatively inexpensive compared to other types of stainless steel. They are easy to fabricate, making them an ideal choice for many manufacturing processes stated below:

  • Heat Treating: Heat treating is a process that is used to alter the mechanical properties of 409 stainless steel. The material is heated to a specific temperature, then cooled to room temperature in a controlled environment. This process can be used to increase the hardness, strength, and wear resistance of the material.
  • Annealing: Annealing is a process that involves heating the stainless steel to a specific temperature, then cooling it slowly. This process is used to reduce hardness and improve the ductility of 409 stainless steel.
  • Cold Rolling: Cold rolling is a process used to reduce the thickness of stainless steel to achieve the desired size, shape, and surface finish. It utilizes a series of rollers to reduce the material thickness and impart the desired mechanical properties.
  • Passivation: It involves treating the steel with an acid solution to remove any free iron ions and form a protective oxide layer on the surface.
  • Welding: 409 stainless steel heat resistant up to 1500°F, so it can withstand high temperatures without warping or becoming brittle in the welding process.
  • Machining – 409 stainless steel has good machinability properties, thus easy to machine according to your needs.

Additionally, 409 stainless steel can be processed through forging, grinding, bending, laser cutting, punching, drilling, shearing, and more.

Polish Treatments for Grade 409 SS

The polish treatments are an effective way to improve the overall appearance, corrosion resistance, and durability of 409 SS material. It can be used to create a glossy finish on the surface of the stainless steel.

Well, this is done by using either mechanical or chemical techniques.

  •  Mechanical polishing techniques involve using abrasive materials such as emery paper, buffing wheels, and sandpaper to remove surface contaminants and improve the surface finish.
  •  Chemical polishing techniques involve using chemicals such as nitric acid, hydrofluoric acid, and sodium hydroxide to remove surface contaminants and improve the surface finish.

The process of polishing the 409 stainless steel can also use to remove scale and other deposits that can accumulate on its surface.

After polishing, the material is then often sealed with a protective coating to prevent further corrosion or damage.

How Long-Lasting 409 Stainless Steel Are?

The 409 grade is one of the most durable forms of stainless steel in the market.

The longevity of 409 stainless steel is due to its high chromium and low nickel content. This combination creates a metal that is highly resistant to corrosion and rust – making it a long-lasting material. It can also withstand high temperatures without becoming damaged. This makes the metal ideal for applications where it is exposed to high temperatures on a regular basis.

Will 409 Grade Rust?

No. 409 stainless steel is made to resist extreme rusting. This makes it a great choice for many applications.

Its high chromium content helps it to resist corrosion in many environments, even in areas exposed to moisture and salt. Despite its resistance to rust, if 409 Stainless Steel is exposed to water for extended periods of time, it can corrode and rust.

In order to prevent rusting, it is important to keep the material dry and to use a protective coating when necessary.


In conclusion, 409 Stainless Steel is a versatile stainless steel material for many applications. Compared to other stainless steel grades, we finally understand that 409 is more beneficial and cost-effective.

Considering the above information will surely help you. It helps you find out when it is necessary to use the material for your specific applications.

If you have any inquiries or questions, our service team is available. Reach out to us now!

One Stop Stainless Steel Supply.

Whether you need stainless steel materials for your business or fabrication projects, TuoLian is your best supplier. You can find all types, grades, and thicknesses based on your needs. Guaranteed that we provide the best quality at a reasonable cost.
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