WHAT IS 304 STAINLESS STEEL - THE COMPLETE 304 STAINLESS STEEL GUIDE


304 Grade stainless steel is widely used mainly in medical and other popular industries. Its low cost and primary corrosion resistance make it an excellent choice for this industry. It also withstands strong cleaning chemicals and passes the strict requirements of the FDA. You can find stainless steel pipe 304 in all your kitchens and bathrooms, and it will be sure to please anyone who wants a durable, corrosion-resistant piece of stainless steel.


What Is 304 Stainless Steel?


SAE 304 SS is one of the most popular types of stainless steel. It is non-magnetic, austenitic steel containing chromium and nickel. Compared to carbon steel, it is less electrically and thermally conductive. SAE 304 stainless steel is also magnetic but not nearly as strong as steel.
What does Austenitic mean?
Austenitic is an alloy that is composed primarily from austenite. The most popular kind that stainless steel can be found in is called austenitic. Austenitic alloys are made up of a large amount of chromium and nickel and make them, as well as the steel they are made from extremely impervious to corrosion.
Stainless steel with a 304 designation is considered austenitic, meaning it does not retain a high oxidation level. This property makes it ideal for high-temperature environments, such as seawater. The highest grade of 304 stainless steel is 430, but it still has a lower magnetism rating than carbon steel. These differences are often helpful when identifying counterfeit goods. Grade 316 stainless steel pipe is more expensive, but it's worth it for places with high exposure to chloride.
Despite its corrosion resistance, 304 grade can't withstand long-term exposure to chlorine.



304 Stainless Steel Facts


» Design Use - This is the most popular grade of stainless steel. The domestic alloy stainless steel condition B304 can be used to decorate. It is available with a range of textures that include rough or brushed. The latter seems to be preferred by designers lately.

» Medical Use - This material is used to make laboratory equipment, parts for jet engines, fittings for boat fittings, high-sanitizing equipment, and chemical containers. This is the ultimate in corrosion resistance.

» Construction - Stainless, one of the most widely used metals in the construction industry. It's also one of the four class of metal together with structural steels, the tool steels, as well as magnetic alloys.

» It can stain - When water touches stainless steel, an oxide film forms that covers the metal. This oxide film can cause rust in your "stainless" steel if it isn't removed.

» It's Recyclable - Soap without the Suds? You can de-stink your hands by using a piece of stainless steel that you have lying around.

» Soap Without the Suds? - No, but if you have a chunk of stainless steel laying around, you can use it to de-stink your hands after chopping garlic and onions.

» Very Ductile - You can create extremely thin wires with the smallest amount of stainless steel. This makes it easier to manipulate than other metals.

» Corrodes - If you pass an electric pulse through the wire, you'll notice that it turns yellow or blue from oxidation.

» Use in Clothing -Some designers who are well-known for their high-fashion clothing use stainless steel wiring as support or decoration. Shiny metal objects are what people like.


What Are 304 Stainless Steel Specifications?


304 stainless steel is relatively easy to machine. However, it is harder than carbon steel, which requires higher power, lower feed rates, and heavier tooling. It is more machinable than AISI B1112 resulfurized free-cutting carbon steel but is not as easy to machine. Solution annealing (STA) is required. Rapid cooling helps prevent the precipitation of chromium carbides. 304 stainless steel is not hardenable by heat treatment but can be annealed or stress-relieving.

304 should be annealed after any form of cold-working to reduce internal stresses and enhance corrosion resistance. Although this steel is not reactive to heat, it does respond to cold working. For this reason, cold working techniques may require intermediate annealing. Using these processes, you can improve 304 stainless steel's machinability. Once you have achieved the desired hardness level, cold work can be used to finish the process.

Standards

  • ASTM - A 240
  • ASME - SA 240
  • AMS - 5511/5513
  • QQ-S - 766

304 Stainless Steel Specifications
Specifications ASTM A312, A358 / ASME SA312, A358
Form Round Pipes, Square Pipes, Rectangular Pipes

What is SS 304 Chemical Composition


The density of 304 stainless steel is 8 g/cm3. There are three varieties of 304, with varying percentages of carbon.
304L contains the lowest carbon percentage (0.03%), while 304H has the highest (0.04-0.1%).
Balanced 304 is a mixture of the two types, with a lower carbon percentage for weld joints and higher carbon content for higher ductility and strength while hot. The most common type of 304 SS is 18/8, which contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Nickel-containing steels can range up to 35%, but most common grades have between 0% and 10%. 304 stainless steel is resistant to many oxidizing substances, making it an ideal choice for food applications. It is also common in buildings and site furnishings. The composition of 304 stainless steel is crucial since it affects the resulting corrosion resistance and strength.

Type 304 stainless steel has elastic moduli. These are all within the range of 193-200 GPa. This test measures the ability of a material to retain its shape under extreme stress.
Generally, the higher the modulus of steel, the more malleable it is.
For example, 304 steel has a high modulus, making it easier to manipulate and work.

Type 304 Stainless Steel Chemical Composition, Wikipedia
Standard AISI (UNS) C, ≤ Si, ≤ Mn, ≤ P, ≤ S, ≤ Cr Ni
ASTM A276/A276M 304 (S30400) 0.08 1.00 2.00 0.045 0.030 18.0-20.0 8.0-11.0

Besides the composition, AISI 304 and 316 are commonly used in various construction works. The difference between these two grades can be attributed to different uses. For instance, grade 310/310S is usually used for kilns, radiant tubes, and tube hangers, while 316 is typically used for steam boilers. AISI 304 and 316 stainless steel are corrosion-resistant but differ in price and manufacturing complexity.

304 stainless steel's higher nickel content increases its resistance to crevice corrosion in water. In addition, higher nickel levels can improve the deep drawing characteristics of 304. While 304 is nonmagnetic in its annealed state, it becomes slightly magnetic after a cold environment.

ELEMENT % PRESENT
Carbon (C) 0.07
Chromium (Cr) 17.50 - 19.50
Manganese (Mn) 2.00
Silicon (Si) 1.00
Phosphorous (P) 0.045
Nickel (Ni) 8.00 - 10.50
Iron (Fe) 66.74 - 71.24 Balance
Sulphur (S) 0.03%
Nitrogen (N) 0.10


What Are 304 Stainless Steel Properties?


It is crucial for you to know the stainless steel 304 properties before you choose it for your project. Moreover, you should be able to determine its corrosion resistance. Once you know its corrosion resistance, you can make the appropriate selection.

The characteristics are tensile strength, yield strength, elongation, and hardness. If you need to choose a stainless steel pipe made of SS 304 for your project, it must meet certain tensile strength requirements. The minimum tensile strength is 0.4mm per inch.

Stainless Steel 304 Pipe

The elasticity of SS 304 steel is higher than that of its stainless steel siblings, such as SS 316. In contrast, 440 steel is comparatively much harder and is a good choice for various applications. In this respect, 304 steel is better than 440 steel. Also, There are various differences in the toughness of the material. If you need to work with a piece of stainless steel in a very stressful environment, 316 steel is a better choice.

SS 304 pipe is a commonly used austenitic chromium-nickel SS. It is commonly available as AISI 304. It has excellent weldability and is very corrosion-resistant. The tensile strength of SS 304 is 515 MPa.

Mechanical Properties Of 304 Stainless Steel


Mechanical Properties Metric English
Ultimate Tensile Strength 505 MPa 73200 psi
Tensile Yield Strength 215 MPa 31200 psi
Hardness (Rockwell B) 70 70
Modulus of Elasticity 193-200 GPa 28000-29000 ksi
Charpy Impact 325 J 240 ft-lb

Physical Properties of Stainless Steel 304


Property Value
Density 8.00 g/cm3
Melting Point 1450 °C
Modulus of Elasticity 193 GPa
Electrical Resistivity 0.72 x 10-6 Ω.m
Thermal Conductivity 16.2 W/m.K
Thermal Expansion 17.2 x 10-6/K


Comparison of 316 vs 304 Stainless Steel


SS 304 and 316 are both corrosion-resistant. Both grades are suitable for various environments. The difference between the two is a matter of degree, but SS 304 offers better corrosion resistance, and SS 316 is more expensive. In addition to the mechanical properties, these grades also have a higher melting point, which is important for high-temperature applications. This is a critical attribute of stainless steel, as it is corrosion-resistant and easy to clean.



SS is available in various grades and alloys, each with advantages. The best choice depends on your project requirements. As a result, you should look at the chemical, mechanical, and physical properties of the various grades before making your final choice. SS 304 is an economical and practical choice, but 316 offers greater resistance to corrosive elements, which will increase the durability of your product.

What is the SS Pipe 304 Price?


If you're in the market for a new kitchen or remodeling project, you might be wondering: What is the 304 stainless steel price, and why is it so expensive? Just keep in mind that the prices of 304 stainless steel are subject to change, and you'll want to shop around for the best SS pipe price.
What Is The Full Form Of SS? - It Is Stainless Steel
Another type of 304 stainless steel has a lower carbon content and is typically used in heavy gauge components. The price of 304 stainless steel depends on several factors, including the application type and the components' size.

Stainless steel in the 400-series is generally more expensive than 304 because the material spends longer in the melting furnace. In addition, it's less formable and weldable. Some metal buyers have taken to the import market to buy stainless steel 304, which has been in demand in the United States.

Stainless Steel 304 Price per kg Origin Price in INR
(per kg)
Price in USD
(per kg)
Price in Euro
(per kg)
Stainless Steel Pipe Price Per Kg In India Indian Rs 165/- $2.65 €2.40
Stainless Steel 304 Price in Japan Japanese Rs 220/- $3.85 €3.00
Stainless Steel 304 Price in UK / Europe European Rs 250/- $3.60 €3.54
Stainless Steel 304 Price in USA USA Rs 450/- $5.40 €4.47

304 stainless is that the prices are still very competitive. 304 is better for many applications, especially if you're searching for something reasonable and easy to maintain. The price of 304 is significantly lower than its cousin, 316. It is also slightly more affordable than 316, but other grades differ in composition and mechanical properties.

The current price for 304 stainless steel is affected by several factors, including port congestion and production costs. For instance, some domestic steel mills have reduced their production levels, leaving consumers without an adequate supply of this metal. Another factor that affects the price of 304 is the fact that it is the most expensive stainless steel grade. It has a high price because steel is a highly sought-after grade in the manufacturing industry.

Note: The prices mentioned above are subject to change. These are not the actual market price. The information is to give you an idea about the 304 SS price range. Pricing is a variable based on various factors such as raw materials, production and transportation, and many more aspects that decide the product's final market price.

What is the 304 Stainless Steel Density?


It can be purchased in dual-certified versions of 304. The type 304L is slightly stronger than 304 but has a lower carbon content, making 304L SS suitable for welded applications. Its low carbon content also eliminates chromium carbide formation, which greatly improves corrosion resistance.
Stainless steel has a high density but is still malleable, making it easy to work with.
The density of 304 steel is 8 grams per cubic centimeter and comes in three varieties. They differ chemically depending on the amount of carbon present. 304L contains the lowest carbon percentage, while 304H contains the highest (0.04-0.1%).

Metric English
Density 8.00 g/cc 0.289 lb/in³

How to Calculate Stainless Steel 304 Yield Strength


To calculate the stainless steel 304 yield strength, you will need to determine the actual material composition. Stainless steel and chromium are made from the same alloy and have similar compositions. The heat treatment process causes differences between the yield strengths of these materials. There are however some differences.

Formula to calculate 304 yield strength

y * a = s
Add the ASTM grade Psi to the stress area for the specific diameter. The formula can be used to determine the ultimate strength for 304 stainless steel pipe of this size and grade:
12,024 lbs = 36,000 PSI * 0.334 In2

Stainless Steel 304 Stength Chart

Stainless steel is typically made from chromium, and alloys are added to the metal to increase its properties. Generally, the most common families of stainless steel are referred as austenitic SS and martensitic stainless steel. Both are too brittle for most applications and may need to be tempered for better properties.

304 stainless steel has a yield stress of approximately 450 kPa, the point at which the metal undergoes permanent distortion and a near approximation of its elastic limit. The metal will be restored to its original form when the stress is removed. However, if the steel reaches its yield cap, it will not recover.
Yield strength is a critical number to consider when designing components. It is the maximum load a metal can withstand in a particular application.

What Is 304 Stainless Steel Hardness?


To answer this question, you'll want first to understand what it means. Metal hardness generally resist abrasion and damage caused by heat. 304 stainless steel is capable of most types of cold working, and it can be cleaned by applying heat above its critical temperature. After cold working, however, it should be given full annealing to remove internal stresses and enhance corrosion resistance.

440 steel is harder compared to 304 stainless steel and it's harder brothers. However, 440 steel is far tougher than 304 and is a better choice for general purpose applications. Regardless of the difference in hardness, these steels are durable and will not wear out easily. A good understanding of 304 stainless steel hardness and 440 steel's composition will help designers make a more informed decision about which type to purchase.

Stainless Steel 304 Hardness Chart


Tensile Strength min. ksi [MPa] Yield Strength min. ksi [MPa] Elongation in 2in or 50mm length % (min) Hardness (Max) ASTM E18 Brinell Hardness (Max) ASTM E18 Rockwell
75 [515] 30 [205] 35 192 HBW 90 HRB

While 304 stainless steel is the most commonly used type of stainless steel, 316 is the most preferred choice for high-temperature environments. It can handle temperatures between 1200°F and 1300°F and still maintain its hardness. Its corrosivity rating is 201HBW, 92HBW, 90HRB, 210HV, and 200 HV, which is very similar to 304 hardness.
The hardness of 304 stainless steel is determined by its chemical composition.

The chemical compositions of 304 stainless steel are less than or equal to 0.07 percent C and 1.0 percent Si. It contains 17.0 to 19.0 percent Mn and an average of 8.0 to 11.0 percent Ni. The carbon content of 304H is lower, resulting in less corrosion resistance. However, this does not mean that 304H is more resistant to sensitization.

Understand 304 Stainless Steel Tensile Strength


304 stainless steel high corrosion resistance makes it an ideal choice for many acid containers. It is also known to be a good general purpose steel and is commonly used for construction projects.



Stainless steel tensile strength is determined by the thickness of the sheet, with a higher number indicating a higher thickness. The type 304L is dual certified, meeting the criteria for 304 and 303L, but with slightly higher strengths. If you're designing a welded product, you'll want to specify Type 304L, which has a lower carbon content, which helps to eliminate the formation of chromium carbide, and enhance corrosion resistance in the as-welded condition.

The tensile strength of type 304 stainless steel pipe is the highest of all grades, and it is ideal for manufacturing machinery and other products requiring high strength and durability. With tensile strength of 515 MPa, it can withstand a variety of mechanical stresses and can even be elongated by 70 percent before breaking. However, it can't be heat treated, and it must be solution treated to achieve this.

Minimum Value (S.I.) Maximum Value (S.I.) Units (S.I.) Minimum Value (Imp.) Maximum Value (Imp.) Units (Imp.)
510 620 MPa 73.9692 89.9234 ksi

Type 304 stainless steel tensile strength is influenced by how it's fabricated. During fabrication, you should use dedicated tools and make sure the surfaces are sterile and free of contamination. It is also important to note that Type 304 stainless steel has a tendency to work harden, and cold working methods may require an intermediate annealing step to relieve some of the work hardening and reduce the risk of tearing. It's important to do a full annealing operation to reduce internal stresses and optimise corrosion resistance. After uniform heating at 1149-1260 deg C, you should cool quickly to ensure maximum corrosion resistance.

304 Stainless Steel Temperature Limits


The most widely used grade of SS is 304. It can be found in both home appliances and commercial machinery. This stainless steel grade is resistant to acids and other corrosive media. Because of its corrosion resistance, 304 is often used in the brewing and sterilization industries and in hauling tanks. It is also suitable for refrigeration due to its strength and ductility.

304 Stainless Steel Temperature

This alloy is also well-known for its machinability. However, it is slow and produces stringy chips. For welded parts, it is recommended to use a lower-carbon material. Full annealing must be done to dissolve chromium carbide and restore high levels of corrosion resistance. Fast cooling should be used after the full annealing. The welded component should adhere to the 304 SS temperature limits.

304 stainless steel material is preferred for many applications due to its corrosion resistance and ease of fabrication. However, depending on the application, a low-carbon version might be needed for greater corrosion resistance and thicker sections. There are three grades of 304 stainless steel: 304, 304L, and 304H.

Tensile Strength At Elevated Temperature


Temperature, °C 600 700 800 900 1000
Tensile Strength, MPa 380 270 170 90 50

Creep Data At Elevated Temperature


Temperature, °C 550 600 650 700 800
Stress, MPa 120 80 50 30 10

Properties at Sub-Zero Temperatures


Temperature °C -78 -161 -196
Tensile Strength MPa 1100/950 1450/1200 1600/1350
Proof Stress(Offset 0.2%) MPa 300/180 300/200 400/220
Impact Strength(Charpy V-Notch) J 180/175 160/160 155/150

While 304 stainless steel is resistant to many corrosive media, it can still crack under stress in chloride-containing environments. Therefore, if it is to be used for chloride-containing applications, you should consider its properties. Pitting can occur if the environmental chloride level is greater than 200ppm. Crevice corrosion may also occur under sediments when the chloride content is higher than 200 ppm.

Cold working may require an intermediate annealing step to reduce work hardening and prevent tearing. An extensive annealing process reduces internal stress and improves corrosion resistance. To ensure maximum corrosion resistance, hot-working fabrication should be done after uniform heating to 1149-1260 deg C, cooling is essential.

The melting temperature of grade 316 stainless steel, which is between 1,370 and 2,550 degrees Fahrenheit (roughly 1,350 to 1,550 deg C), is also resistant to high temperatures.
Grade 316 is less suitable for high-temperature applications than 304 stainless steel.
It has a lower nickel and chrome content. It is also less popular for high-temperature applications due to its lower melting point, higher cost, and lower value.

Will 304 Stainless Steel Rust?


If you are considering using 304 stainless steel for marine applications, you should know that SS 304 is susceptible to saline and chloride corrosion. Chloride ions can cause localized areas of corrosion and pitting that can compromise internal structures. The 304 grade of stainless steel in warm chloride environments are more prone to pitting.
If marine use is important, grade 316 ss should be used instead.

Stainless steel has an incredible ability to resist corrosion in most environments, but some environments are more corrosive than others. 304 stainless steel is more commonly used in applications not exposed to harsh chemicals. These metals are rust-resistant and highly corrosion-resistant.

304 stainless steel is easier to pit. This material can easily damaged by chloride and salt corrosion than 316 stainless steel. 316 stainless steel has all the benefits of 304 stainless steel, with the added benefit of molybdenum. Molybdenum helps 316 stainless steel resist corrosion and is more expensive.

Is Stainless Steel 304 Magnetic?


If you're wondering, "Is 304 stainless steel magnetic?" you're not alone. It's one of the market's most popular types of stainless steel. 304 and 316 are both austenitic, which means they are composed of alternating phases of the solid iron atom. These phases correspond to different crystal structures and form at different temperatures. As the metal cools, the solid iron turns into austenite, a phase with a magnetic property. Austenite can be stabilized by the addition of nickel, which makes it more magnetic than other non-magnetic materials. However, its magnetic susceptibility is still below that of other non-magnetic materials, making it difficult magnetically such as magnets.



While all stainless steel is non-magnetic, stainless steel objects can be magnetic to some extent. Cold-worked parts, welded components, and other processes can convert the material's metallurgy into different phases, such as martensite or ferrite. Magnetism depends on the chemical composition and homogeneity of the material, which also plays a role in determining the type of magnetic properties.

Stainless steel 304 alloys are considered weak magnetically but can become magnetic after cold working. 304 SS can be problematic because magnets can interfere with welding processes, resulting in a less neat weld finish. This is because magnets alter electric current behavior. The addition of a magnet can magnetize a piece of stainless steel. This magnetism can also be caused by oxidation and phosphorus, two common elements in stainless steel.

304 Stainless Steel Application


Stainless steel 304 is a good material for many industries, including manufacturing and construction. It is the best material for machining work and sheet metal fabrication. Moreover, many people find its aesthetic appearance attractive and use it in high-rise buildings.



304-grade alloy has excellent resistance to most corrosive media. It is commonly used in the brewing, wine-making, and milk processing industries. Among its other uses, Type 304 is commonly used in fermentation vats, storage tanks, and railway cars. It is also commonly used in the citrus and fruit juice industries as.

Stainless steel pipe 304 is typically found in exhaust systems, machine shops, and kitchenware. Grade 304 SS is one of the most common alloys on the market. This material boasts excellent corrosion and stain resistance. Because of its composition, it's often used in welding operations.

304 Stainless steel popular usage

  • Residential appliances, kitchen equipment, residential sinks, splashbacks, sink parts, storage tanks, and sink parts
  • Saucepans, pots and pans, cutlery and flatware, food processing equipment, particularly in beer brewing, milk processing, and wine making
  • Sanitaryware and troughs, indoor architectural/decorative hardware (panels, sculptures, sconces, roofing and cladding, doors and windows)
  • Stainless hardware, fasteners and finishing hardware (screws, nuts, bolts, plates, handles, springs)
  • Fasteners and flange manufacturing, tubing, hose clamps, pressurenuts vessels and piping
  • Chemical containers, including for transport, and pharmaceutical production equipment
  • Automotive and aerospace components
  • Heat exchangers

Summary


Due to its alloys, 304 stainless steel is austenitic and widely used in many industries and home applications. You can find 304 steel in almost every home improvement store. This material is popular because it is corrosion resistant and easy to clean. Though for marine or sea water application, it is not recommended. The best option for budget is grade 304 stainless. Type 304 stainless steel is available in various forms and sizes, such as pipes, tubes, sheets, etc. Do you proper research about stainless steel pipe suppliers when planning your business or industry needs.
With this article, our effort is to educate you about 304 stainless steel. Hopefully, it helps you make an informed decision when choosing suitable stainless steel for your company or household.

Disclaimer


The data are typically meant to be used for informational purposes they should not be taken as a minimum or maximum value for specification , or as a the final design or for any particular purpose or use. The information may be changed at without notice. We do not make any representation or guarantee as to the accuracy of the data and do not assume any obligation to keep it up to date. Actual information on a particular material or product may differ from the ones shown in this article.