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About 3CR12

3CR12 is a low cost utility stainless steel providing benefits of strength, corrosion and abrasion resistance, durability and low maintenance. 3CR12 is similar to grade 409 and grade 410S (nominally 12% chromium) so it exhibits similar corrosion resistance properties, and has many advantages in terms of fabrication and mechanical properties. However, in terms of fabrication and mechanical properties, 3CR12 exhibits certain advantages. It has a higher 0.2% proof-stress, it is slightly less ductile than grade 409, and most importantly, offers better weld-ability than both of those grades.


Because 3CR12 does not depend upon expensive alloying elements like nickel and molybdenum, it maintains a consistently low cost advantage compared with other corrosion resisting materials.


3CR12 was developed to provide a superior alternative to carbon steel, galvanized, aluminized, or painted carbon steel and other materials, which have poor corrosive/abrasive resistance.


3CR12 is covered by ASTM A240 UNS41003 and by the Euronorm designation 1.4003.


Corrosion Resistance


3CR12 is best used in mildly corrosive environments or conditions. While significantly more corrosion resistant than mild steel, 3CR12 is suited for applications where aesthetics is not a prime requirement. Most corrosive environments will cause the metal to form a light surface patina, which unlike rust does not affect its lifetime performance. In fact the patina actually creates another protective layer on the metal impeding further corrosion from taking place. Atmospheric corrosion testing has proven 3CR12 offers 250 times the life of unpainted mild steel in moderate marine environments.


3CR12 is far superior to austenitic alloys in that it strongly resists chloride stress corrosion cracking. It is less resistant than 304/304L to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride environments. Applications in water with chlorides of up to 100-200 mg/L are likely suitable for 3CR12 as long as temperatures remain ambient.  Please consult with our Technical Team for specific environmental specifications.

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