Data Sheets

Stainless Steel   |   Martensitic

1.4021 (420) Bar

Commercial420 EN1.4021

A martensitic machining bar with machinability enhanced through the addition of Sulphur.

As for most other free-machining stainless steels the improvement in machinability is achieved by addition of sulphur which forms manganese sulphide inclusions; this sulphur addition also lowers the corrosion resistance, weldability and formability to below that of its non-free machining equivalent Grade 410.

Martensitic stainless steels are optimised for high hardness, and other properties are to some degree compromised. Fabrication must be by methods that allow for poor weldability and usually also allow for a final harden and temper heat treatment. Corrosion resistance is lower than the common austenitic grades, and their useful operating temperature range is limited by their loss of ductility at sub-zero temperatures and loss of strength by over-tempering at elevated temperatures.

Chemical Composition

EN 10088-3:2005
1.4021 Steel
Chemical Element % Present
Iron (Fe) balance
Sulphur (S) 0.03 max
Phosphorous (P) 0.04 max
Carbon (C) 0.16 - 0.25
Silicon (Si) 1 max
Manganese (Mn) 1.5 max
Chromium (Cr) 12 - 14

Alloy Designations

1.4021 is similar, but may not be a direct equivalent to:



1.4021, 1.4024, 1.4028, 1.4029, 1.4030, 1.4034  


Supplied Forms

  • Bar

Generic Physical Properties

Physical Property Value
Density 7.75 g/cm³
Thermal Expansion 10.3 x10^-6 /K
Modulus of Elasticity 200 GPa
Thermal Conductivity 24.9 W/m.K
Electrical Resistivity 0.55 x10^-6 Ω .m

Mechanical Properties

EN 10088-3:2005
Bar - Up to 160mm Dia / Thickness
Mechanical Property Value
Proof Stress 500 - 600 MPa
Tensile Strength 700 - 950 MPa
Elongation A 12 - 13 %

Mechanical properties vary greatly according the heat treatment that the material has undergone

Corrosion Resistance

Corrosion resistance is lower than the common austenitic grades.


Useful resistance to dry atmospheres, fresh water and mild alkalies and acids, but less resistant than the equivalent non-free-machining grades. Less corrosion resistant than the austenitic grades and also less than 17% chromium ferritic alloys such as Grade 430. High sulphur content free machining grades such as 416 are totally unsuitable for marine or other chloride exposure.

Maximum corrosion resistance is achieved in the hardened condition, with a smooth surface finish.

Heat Treatment

Cold Working

Not recommended - Suitable only for minor deformation.  Severe deformation will result in cracking.

Hot Working

All hot work procedures should commence following uniform heating to 2100-2250 F (1149-1232 C). Hot work below 1700 F (927 C) may result in cracking.

Heat Resistance

Fair resistance to scaling in intermittent service up to 760°C and up to 675°C in continuous service. Not recommended for use in temperatures above the relevant tempering temperature, if maintenance of mechanical properties is important.


Grade 420 has poor weldability.


Pre-heat to 150-320°C and post-heat at 610-760°C. Grade  420 coated welding rods are recommended for high strength joints, where a  post-weld hardening and tempering heat treatment is to be carried out.


If parts are to be used in the "as welded"  condition, a ductile joint can be achieved by using Grade 309 filler rod. AS  1554.6 pre-qualifies welding of 420 with Grade 309 rods or electrodes.


Fabrication must be by methods that allow for poor weldability and usually also allow for a final harden and temper heat treatment.


Typical applications include:

Valve Parts

Pump Shafts

Automatic Screw Machined Parts

Motor Shafts

Washing Machine Components

Bolts and Nuts



Shear Blades

Cutlery (Blades)

Surgical Instruments


Grade 420 offers exceptionally good machinability, the highest of any of the commonly available stainless steels. Best machinability is in the sub-critical annealed condition.