Stainless steel 304 vs 316 - how to select the right grade?

Posted by freemexy on March 18th, 2021

Stainless steel 304 vs 316 - how to select the right grade?


Austenitic stainless steel grades are the number one choice for materials that can endure corrosive environments. Austenitic stainless steel tube is rich in chromium and nickel, which make it ideal for resisting corrosion. It also has remarkable mechanical properties across the various grades available in the market.To get more news about 304 stainless steel, you can visit stainless-steel-supplier official website.

Grade 304 stainless steel
Grade 304 is a basic austenitic stainless steel. It contains a high level of nickel and chromium, with the amount of chromium ranging from 18 to 20% by weight and nickel weighing in at between 8 and 10.5%. Grade 304's other alloying elements include silicon and manganese with iron comprising the remaining chemical composition.
316 stainless steel has the same material composition as 304 stainless steel. However, in addition to high amounts of chromium and nickel, it also holds silicon, carbon, and manganese, with a huge portion comprising of iron.

Grade 316 stainless steel has a denser chemical composition. It holds a significant amount of molybdenum of about 2-3% in weight compared to the traces found in 304. The higher molybdenum in 316 results in higher corrosion resistance than in 304.There are situations which set apart the two grades of stainless steel, but both are legends on their turf. The circumstances under which Grade 304 is a better choice are:

The application requires superb formability. The higher molybdenum content in 316 can have serious consequences on formability, thus making 304 a better choice.
The application has underlying cost concerns. Given that grade 316 is more corrosion resistant, it has a higher direct cost.

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