Do You Know the Difference between 316 Stainless Steel and 304?

Although while looking at both 304 stainless steel and 316 stainless steel, it is very difficult to notice any difference between them. However, while manufacturing with 304 vs 316 stainless steel, there can be a huge difference between them. Fair Wind Fasteners can offer all fasteners of both these materials.

Stainless Steel

Let us now try to understand the difference between these two materials in this post.

1. Cost

The alloys found in the composition of stainless steel have a significant impact on how much it costs. All stainless steels must include at least 10.5% chromium, and a significant amount of their final composition is iron from the alloying process.

However, the many additional components present have an effect on the qualities and, eventually, the price.

As molybdenum is a costly element, it makes 316 a costly variety of stainless steel. However, it makes 316 far more corrosion-resistant than 304.

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2. Magnetism

As both grades are austenitic, magnetic characteristics are not present, however, cold processing may have an impact.

There will be a small increase in the magnetic characteristics of the stainless steel when it is shaped or cut, but this is quite a bit.

3. Corrosion resistance

The family of metals known as stainless steel is exceptionally resistant to corrosion, but the addition of molybdenum to grade 316 improves the grade’s ability to survive the hostile environment.

316, which is frequently referred to as marine grade, is appropriate for usage in settings that are more abrasive than ambient, but regular cleaning is still advised to increase the metal’s service life.

Stainless Steel4. Chemical composition

The following are chemical composition of 304 stainless steel:

  • Carbon: 0.07
  • Silicon: 1.0
  • Manganese: 2.0
  • Phosphorus: 0.045
  • Sulfur: 0.015
  • Chromium: 17.5 to 19.5
  • Nickel: 8.0 to 10.5
  • Molybdenum: nil
  • Nitrogen: 0.10

The following are chemical composition of 304 stainless steel:Carbon: 0.07

  • Silicon: 1.0
  • Manganese: 2.0
  • Phosphorus: 0.045
  • Sulfur: 0.015
  • Chromium: 16.5 to 18.5
  • Nickel: 10.0 to 13.0
  • Molybdenum: 2.0 to 2.5
  • Nitrogen: 0.10

Common uses for 304 stainless sheets of steel:

  • Storage tanks
  • Fasteners and finishing hardware
  • Pots and pans
  • Residential sinks and sink parts
  • Indoor architectural/decorative hardware
  • Equipment tubing
  • Residential appliances

Common uses for 316 stainless sheets of steel:

  • Industrial equipment as used in:
  1. Pharmaceutical manufacturing
  2. Chemical manufacturing
  • Industrial and chemical transportation
  • Pressure vessels
  • Cisterns and pipes for chemical applications
  • Medical equipment was needed for non-surgical steel
  • Marine equipment
  • Outdoor site furnishings
  • Commercial kitchens
  • Food production
  • Processing in saline environments
  • Commercial appliances

Stainless Steel

Which is better?

When determining which stainless steel to employ for various applications, it is important to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of both 304 and 316.

For example, 316 stainless steel can be more resistant to salt and many other corrosives than 304 stainless steel. Therefore, 316 is a preferable option if you are making a product that will frequently be exposed to chemicals or a marine environment.

304 on the other hand, is a sensible and affordable option if you are producing a product that does not require great corrosion resistance. In fact, 304 and 316 can be used interchangeably in many applications.

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