is 17-4 stainless steel magnetic

Is 17-4 stainless steel magnetic?

The magnetic behavior of stainless steel is primarily influenced by its microstructure and chemical composition. In the case of 17-4 stainless steel, it undergoes a transformation from austenite to martensite during heat treatment, which contributes to its magnetic properties.

Yes, 17-4 stainless steel is generally magnetic. It belongs to the martensitic stainless steel family, which is known for its magnetic properties.

However, it’s worth noting that the magnetic strength of 17-4 stainless steel can vary depending on factors such as the specific alloy composition and the heat treatment process employed.

Magnetism of 17-4 Stainless Steel

Is 17-4 stainless steel magnetic? The answer is not a simple yes or no. The magnetism of this alloy can be influenced by its specific condition or state.

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In the annealed condition, which is the softest and least magnetic state, 17-4 stainless steel is typically non-magnetic. However, as the alloy undergoes various heat treatments and is hardened, it can become magnetic.

Hardening and Magnetism

When 17-4 stainless steel is subjected to heat treatment processes such as precipitation hardening, its microstructure undergoes changes that can affect its magnetic properties.

Precipitation hardening involves a sequence of heating, quenching, and aging steps. During this process, the alloy’s atoms rearrange and form precipitates, which contribute to its increased strength.

The Influence of Heat Treatment on Magnetism

As the 17-4 stainless steel is hardened through heat treatment, it can develop magnetic properties. The specific heat treatment condition determines the extent of magnetism.

For example, in the H900 condition, which involves aging at approximately 900°F (482°C), the alloy becomes highly magnetic. On the other hand, in other heat treatment conditions like H1025, H1075, H1150, and H1150D, the magnetism may vary.

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Factors Affecting Magnetism

Apart from heat treatment, other factors can influence the magnetism of 17-4 stainless steel. These include the alloy’s composition and the presence of other elements such as copper and molybdenum. Higher levels of these elements may enhance the magnetic properties.

Applications and Considerations

The magnetic properties of 17-4 stainless steel make it suitable for specific applications. For example, in industries where magnetic properties are desired, such as manufacturing, certain types of fasteners, motor shafts, and seals can benefit from using magnetic 17-4 stainless steel.

However, it’s important to note that in applications where non-magnetic materials are required, alternative stainless steel alloys may be more appropriate.


In conclusion, 17-4 stainless steel exhibits interesting magnetic properties that can be influenced by heat treatment and alloy composition. While it is generally non-magnetic in the annealed condition, the alloy can become magnetic when hardened through heat treatment processes.

The magnetism of 17-4 stainless steel offers versatility in various applications where magnetic properties are desired.

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