These steels contain 12 to 16% chromium and 0.1 to 1.2 per cent carbon. The structure consists of hard martensite phase after hardening. The general utility chromium stainless steel with 12% chromium and 0.15% carbon are ferromagnetic and air hardening. It is very hard and possesses high strain and high corrosion resistance properties.
Stainless steels containing 12 to 14% chromium and 0.3% carbon are extensively used for table cutlery, tools and equipments etc. Stainless steels containing 16-18% chromium and 0.2% carbon are used as springs, ball bearing, valves, knife blades and instruments under high temperature and corrosive conditions. These steels are generally used for making utensils, surgical and dental instruments, and springs of high temperature operations, ball valves and toilet seats.