SS 304 / UNS S30400 / W.Nr. 1.4301
304 Stainless Steel
304 Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is a popular choice of material for many applications, thanks to its excellent properties. Among the various grades of stainless steel, 304 stainless steel stands out for its unique combination of durability, strength, and corrosion resistance.
Stainless steel alloys primarily consists of iron, with varying amounts of chromium, nickel, carbon, and other elements. The number “304” refers to the specific composition of the stainless steel, which contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. This gives 304 stainless steel its characteristic high levels of corrosion resistance, even in harsh environments.
Alloy 304 Inventory
|Product Form||Size range from||Size range to|
Alloy 304 pipe
|0.5 in||8 in|
Alloy 304 tube
|12 mm||260 mm|
Alloy 304 pipe fittings
|0.5 in||8 in|
Alloy 304 flanges
|0.5 in||8 in|
Composition and Properties
In addition to its high chromium and nickel content, 304 stainless steel also contains small amounts of other metals, such as manganese and silicon. This enhances the steel’s mechanical and physical properties, including its durability, strength, and toughness. 304 stainless steel is also highly resistant to oxidation, making it a popular choice for applications that require exposure to high temperatures or harsh environments.
304 stainless steel is also known for its excellent welding and forming capabilities. It can be easily welded using a variety of techniques, including gas tungsten arc welding (GTAW), gas metal arc welding (GMAW), and shielded metal arc welding (SMAW). This makes it a popular choice for fabrication and manufacturing applications.
Another advantage of 304 stainless steel is its aesthetic appeal. Through PVD coating technique you can create various surface finishes that range from bright to shiny surface finish, which is highly attractive and can be easily maintained with regular cleaning. This makes it a popular choice for architectural and decorative applications, such as building facades, interior design elements, and furniture.
Comparison to Other Stainless Steel Grades
Compared to other stainless steel grades, 304 stainless steel is a versatile and cost-effective option. Its unique composition and properties make it ideal for a wide range of applications, including food and beverage processing equipment, medical devices, and industrial machinery. While other grades may offer higher levels of corrosion resistance or other specialized properties, 304 stainless steel strikes a balance between performance and affordability.
For example, 316 stainless steel contains higher levels of chromium and nickel than 304 stainless steel, which gives it even greater corrosion resistance. However, it is also more expensive and may not be necessary for applications that do not require such high levels of corrosion resistance.
On the other end of the spectrum, 430 stainless steel is a lower-cost option that is often used for less demanding applications. However, it does not offer the same level of corrosion resistance or durability as 304 stainless steel.
One of the key benefits of 304 stainless steel is its exceptional corrosion resistance. This makes it an ideal choice for applications where the steel will be exposed to moisture, chemicals, or other corrosive substances. The high level of chromium in the steel forms a protective oxide layer on the surface, which helps to prevent corrosion and rust.
304 stainless steel is a popular material for use in outdoor environments, such as marine applications, where it is exposed to saltwater and other harsh elements. The corrosion resistance of 304 stainless steel ensures that it will withstand the test of time and remain in excellent condition, even in these challenging conditions.
Resistance to Oxidation
Because of its high chromium content, 304 stainless steel also offers excellent resistance to oxidation. This makes it ideal for use in applications where the steel will be exposed to high temperatures or prolonged periods of heat. The oxidation resistance of 304 stainless steel means that it retains its appearance even after extended use.
304 stainless steel is commonly used in high-temperature applications, such as in the manufacturing of industrial furnaces and boilers. Its ability to resist oxidation ensures that it will maintain its strength and structural integrity even when exposed to extreme heat.
Resistance to Chemical Corrosion
304 stainless steel is also highly resistant to a wide range of chemical substances, including acids, alkalis, and organic compounds. This makes it an ideal choice for applications in the chemical and pharmaceutical industries, where exposure to corrosive substances is common.
The chemical resistance of 304 stainless steel also makes it a popular choice for use in food processing and storage equipment. It is non-reactive with most food products, ensuring that the integrity of the food is not compromised by contact with the steel.
Overall, the exceptional corrosion resistance of 304 stainless steel makes it a versatile and reliable material for a wide range of applications. Its ability to withstand exposure to moisture, chemicals, and high temperatures ensures that it will maintain its strength and appearance over time, making it a cost-effective choice for many industries.
Durability and Strength
In addition to its excellent corrosion resistance, 304 stainless steel is known for its durability and strength. It has impressive mechanical properties, including high tensile and yield strength, which makes it capable of withstanding heavy loads and stresses. This makes it a popular choice for applications in the construction and engineering industries, where strength and durability are crucial.
The durability and strength of 304 stainless steel is due to its unique composition. It is an alloy of iron, carbon, and at least 10.5% chromium. The chromium content creates a protective layer on the surface of the steel, preventing it from rusting or corroding. This layer also enhances the steel’s strength and durability, making it resistant to wear and tear.
304 stainless steel is also known for its high ductility, which means it can be easily formed and shaped without breaking or cracking. This makes it an ideal choice for applications that require complex shapes or designs, such as architectural features or decorative elements.
Tensile Strength and Yield Strength
The tensile and yield strength of 304 stainless steel make it an ideal choice for applications where structural integrity is vital. These properties ensure that the steel can withstand heavy loads, shocks, and stresses without deforming or failing.
The tensile strength of 304 stainless steel is typically in the range of 515 – 620 MPa (75,000 – 90,000 psi), while the yield strength is typically in the range of 205 – 260 MPa (30,000 – 38,000 psi). These values may vary depending on the specific grade of 304 stainless steel and the manufacturing process used.
These impressive mechanical properties make 304 stainless steel a popular choice for a wide range of applications, including aerospace, automotive, and marine industries. It is also commonly used in the production of kitchen equipment, appliances, and food processing machinery.
304 stainless steel also has excellent impact resistance, making it ideal for use in high-traffic areas or areas where impact damage is likely. Its ability to absorb shocks and stresses makes it an ideal choice for a wide range of applications, from food processing equipment to medical devices.
In addition to its impact resistance, 304 stainless steel is also resistant to heat and chemicals. This makes it an ideal choice for applications that require exposure to high temperatures or harsh chemicals, such as chemical processing plants or oil refineries.
Overall, the durability, strength, and impact resistance of 304 stainless steel make it a versatile and reliable material for a wide range of applications. Its unique composition and mechanical properties make it a popular choice for industries that require high-performance materials that can withstand heavy loads, shocks, and stresses.
Formability and Weldability
304 stainless steel is a popular choice for a variety of applications due to its impressive formability and weldability. In addition to its corrosion resistance, this steel is known for its ability to be easily fabricated into a wide range of shapes and sizes, making it a versatile material for various industries.
When it comes to formability, 304 stainless steel can be easily shaped into flat sheets or more complex structures. Its flexibility and ease of fabrication make it ideal for use in construction, engineering, and medical equipment.
Ease of Fabrication
One of the main advantages of 304 stainless steel is its ease of fabrication. This steel can be formed into a variety of shapes and sizes using standard fabrication techniques. This makes it a popular choice for manufacturers who require a versatile material for their projects.
Furthermore, 304 stainless steel can be easily machined, stamped, and drawn, allowing for the creation of intricate designs and components. Its excellent formability also means that it can be bent, cut, and welded without cracking or breaking, making it a reliable material for a wide range of applications.
Welding Techniques and Considerations
When it comes to welding, 304 stainless steel is known for its ease of use. Its low carbon content and unique chemical composition make it easy to weld using standard welding techniques. However, it is important to take certain precautions to avoid overheating or warping the steel during the welding process.
Skilled welding techniques and a thorough understanding of the properties of 304 stainless steel are essential to ensure a successful weld. The use of proper welding equipment, such as high-quality welding wire and shielding gas, can also help to ensure a strong and durable weld.
Overall, the formability and weldability of 304 stainless steel make it a popular choice for a wide range of applications. Its versatility, combined with its excellent corrosion resistance, make it a reliable and cost-effective material for various industries.
304 stainless steel also offers exceptional resistance to heat, making it a popular choice for high-temperature applications. Its unique composition and physical properties allow it to retain its strength and durability even in extreme environments.
304 stainless steel can withstand temperatures of up to 1700°F (927°C) without losing its strength or mechanical properties. This makes it an ideal choice for use in high-temperature applications such as furnaces, heat exchangers, and boilers.
The thermal conductivity of 304 stainless steel is another important property that makes it ideal for high-temperature applications. Its high thermal conductivity allows it to transfer heat efficiently, making it an ideal choice for applications where heat transfer is essential.
304 Stainless Steel – Applicable Specifications
304 Stainless Steel Plate & Sheet
304 Stainless Steel Bar
304 Stainless Steel Pipe
304 Stainless Steel Tube
304 Stainless Steel Wire
304 Stainless Steel Fittings
Common Trade Names
Stainless steel 304 and 304L are two of the most commonly used austenitic stainless steel alloys. They are also referred to as A2 and A4 stainless steel, respectively, based on their corrosion resistance properties.
(in annealed condition)
|Tensile Strength (ksi)||75 – 95|
|Yield Strength (ksi)||30 – 35|
|Hardness (HRB)||Max 95|
Chemical Composition (%)
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