These wires are generally used for their corrosion resistance and heat resistance. There are three main types of stainless steel austenitic, martensitic and precipitation hardened:
Austenitic stainless steels can only be hardened by cold work during wire drawing. This material is the most commonly used where resistance to corrosion and/or relaxation is required. They are weakly magnetic and in the spring hardened form. Working temperatures up to 300 degrees C.
Martensitic stainless steels higher strength is obtained through hardening and tempering. They possess good corrosion resistance but inferior to austenitic stainless. They are strongly magnetic and have poor electrical conductivity. Working temperature up to 300 degrees C.
Precipitation hardening stainless steels are age hardened to increase their tensile strength and are higher than austenitic stainless steels. Fatigue resistance is excellent but can be prone to occasional stress cracking. Corrosion resistance is less than austenitic stainless. Working temperatures up to 320 degrees C.