Stainless Steels - Stainless 304 Properties, Fabrication and Applications, Supplier Data by Aalco

Topics Covered

Background

304 Stainless Steel

304L Stainless Steel

304H Stainless Steel

Chemical Composition of Stainless steel 304

Properties of Stainless Steel 304

Mechanical Properties of Stainless Steel 304

Physical Properties of Stainless Steel 304

Alloy Designations

Corrosion Resistance of Stainless Steel 304

Heat Resistance of Stainless Steel 304

Fabrication of Stainless Steel 304

Cold Working of Stainless Steel 304

Hot Working of Stainless Steel 304

Heat Treatment of Stainless Steel 304

Machinability

Welding of Stainless Steel 304

Applications of Stainless Steel 304

Supplied Forms

Background

Stainless steel types1.4301 and 1.4307 are also known as grades 304 and 304L respectively. Type 304 is the most versatile and widely used stainless steel. It is still sometimes referred to by its old name 18/8 which is derived from the nominal composition of type 304 being 18% chromium and 8% nickel.

304 Stainless Steel

Stainless steel 304 is an austenitic grade that can be severely deep drawn. This property has resulted in 304 being the dominant grade used in applications like sinks and saucepans.

304L Stainless Steel

Type 304L is the low carbon version of Stainless steel 304. It is used in heavy gauge components for improved weldability. Some products such as plate and pipe may be available as “dual certified” material that meets the criteria for both 304 and 304L.

304H Stainless Steel

304H, a high carbon content variant, is also available for use at high temperatures.

Property data given in this document is typical for flat rolled products covered by ASTM A240/A240M. ASTM, EN or other standards may cover products sold by Aalco. It is reasonable to expect specifications in these standards to be similar but not necessarily identical to those given in this datasheet.

Chemical Composition of Stainless Steel 304

Table 1. Typical chemical composition for 304 stainless steel alloys

%

304

304L

304H

C

0-0.07

0-0.03

0.04-1

Mn

0-2.0

0-2.0

0-2.0

Si

0-1

0-1

0-1

P

0-0.05

0-0.05

0-0.05

S

0-0.02

0-0.02

0-0.02

Cr

17.5-19.5

17.5-19.5

17.5-19.5

Ni

8-10.5

8-10.5

8-10.5

Fe

Balance

Balance

Balance

 

Properties of Stainless Steel 304

Mechanical Properties of Stainless Steel 304

Table 2. Typical mechanical properties for 304 stainless steel alloys

Grade

304

304L

304H

Tensile Strength (MPa)

520-720

500-6070

520-720

Compression Strength (MPa)

210

-

-

Proof Stress 0.2% (MPa)

210

200

210

Elongation A5 (%)

45 Min

45 Min

40 Min

Hardness Rockwell B

92

-

-

Physical Properties of Stainless Steel 304

Table 3. Typical physical properties for 304 stainless steel alloys

Property

Value

Density

8.00 g/cm3

Melting Point

1450°C

Modulus of Elasticity

193 GPa

Electrical Resistivity

0.072x10-6 Ù.m

Thermal Conductivity

16.2 W/m.K 

Thermal Expansion

17.2x10-6 /K 

Alloy Designations

Stainless steel 304 also corresponds to the following standard designations and specifications:

Euronorm

UNS

BS

En

Grade

1.4301

S30400

304S15

304S16

304S31

58E

304

1.4306

S30403

304S11

-

304L

1.4307

-

304S11

-

304L

1.4311

-

304S11

-

304L

1.4948

S30409

304S51

-

304H

Corrosion Resistance of Stainless Steel 304

Stainless steel 304 has excellent corrosion resistance in a wide variety of environments and when in contact with different corrosive media. Pitting and crevice corrosion can occur in environments containing chlorides. Stress corrosion cracking can occur at temperatures over 60°C.

Heat Resistance of Stainless Steel 304

Stainless steel 304 has good resistance to oxidation in intermittent service up to 870°C and in continuous service to 925°C. However, continuous use at 425-860°C is not recommended if corrosion resistance in water is required. In this instance 304L is recommended due to its resistance to carbide precipitation.

Where high strength is required at temperatures above 500°C and up to 800°C, grade 304H is recommended. This material will retain aqueous corrosion resistance.

Fabrication of Stainless Steel 304

Fabrication of all stainless steels should be done only with tools dedicated to stainless steel materials. Tooling and work surfaces must be thoroughly cleaned before use. These precautions are necessary to avoid cross contamination of stainless steel by easily corroded metals that may discolour the surface of the fabricated product.

Cold Working of Stainless Steel 304

Stainless steel 304 readily work hardens. Fabrication methods involving cold working may require an intermediate annealing stage to alleviate work hardening and avoid tearing or cracking. At the completion of fabrication a full annealing operation should be employed to reduce internal stresses and optimise corrosion resistance.

Hot Working of Stainless Steel 304

Fabrication methods, like forging, that involve hot working should occur after uniform heating to 1149-1260°C. The fabricated components should then be rapidly cooled to ensure maximum corrosion resistance.

Heat Treatment of Stainless Steel 304

Stainless steel 304 cannot be hardened by heat treatment.

Solution treatment or annealing can be done by rapid cooling after heating to 1010-1120°C.

Machinability

Stainless steel 304 has good machinability. Machining can be enhanced by using the following rules:

  • Cutting edges must be kept sharp. Dull edges cause excess work hardening.
  • Cuts should be light but deep enough to prevent work hardening by riding on the surface of the material.
  • Chip breakers should be employed to assist in ensuring swarf remains clear of the work
  • Low thermal conductivity of austenitic alloys results in heat concentrating at the cutting edges. This means coolants and lubricants are necessary and must be used in large quantities.

Welding of Stainless Steel 304

Fusion welding performance for Stainless steel 304 is excellent both with and without fillers. Recommended filler rods and electrodes for stainless steel 304 is grade 308 stainless steel. For 304L the recommended filler is 308L. Heavy welded sections may require post-weld annealing. This step is not required for 304L. Grade 321 may be used if post-weld heat treatment is not possible.

Applications of Stainless Steel 304

Stainless steel 304 is typically used in:

  • Sinks and splashbacks
  • Saucepans
  • Cutlery and flatware
  • Architectural panelling
  • Sanitaryware and troughs
  • Tubing
  • Brewery, dairy, food and pharmaceutical production equipment
  • Springs, nuts, bolts and screws

Supplied Forms

Stainless steel 304 is typically supplied by Aalco in a range of finishes in the following forms:

  • Sheet
  • Strip
  • Tube
  • Quarto plate
  • Bar
  • Fittings & Flanges
  • Pipe
  • Plate

Source: Aalco

For more information on this source please visit Aalco

DISCLAIMER

This Data is indicative only and must not be seen as a substitute for the full specification from which it is drawn. In particular, the mechanical property requirements vary widely with temper, product and product dimensions. The information is based on our present knowledge and is given in good faith. However, no liability will be accepted by the Company is respect of any action taken by any third party in reliance thereon.

As the products detailed may be used for a wide variety of purposes and as the Company has no control over their use; the Company specifically excludes all conditions or warranties expressed or implied by statute or otherwise as to dimensions, properties and/or fitness for any particular purpose.

Any advice given by the Company to any third party is given for that party’s assistance only and without liability on the part of the Company. Any contract between the Company and a customer will be subject to the company’s Conditions of Sale. The extent of the Company’s liabilities to any customer is clearly set out in those Conditions; a copy of which is available on request.

Date Added: May 18, 2005 | Updated: Jul 15, 2013
Comments
  1. Ankit Khare Ankit Khare India says:

    Which material is batter between AISI 304, AISI 1020, AISI 202?

The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of AZoM.com.
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