High Formability, High Strength 304V Austenitic Stainless Steel

Fort Wayne Metals, a company specializing in medical grade wires and cables, offers the 304V austenitic stainless steel that exhibits excellent strength and formability. This steel is developed through a unique process, wherein it is electric-arc melted and then subjected to Vacuum Arc Remelted. This process ensures excellent purity and homogeneity and produces a more standardized chemistry with minimum contaminants and voids. Table 1 shows the typical chemistry of different elements. However, this is for reference only and must not be utilized for specification purpose. Table 2 gives the the physical properties of the 304V alloy.

Table 1. Typical chemistry of elements

  FWM Avg. Wt. % ASTM A313
Carbon 0.073 0.08
Manganese 1.310 2.00
Silicon 0.700 1.00
Phosphorus 0.021 0.045
Sulfur 0.001 0.030
Chromium 18.58 18.0-20.00
Nickel 8.65 8.00-10.50
Molybdenum 0.16 -
Copper 0.17 -
Nitrogen 0.034 0.10
Iron Balance Balance
Cobalt 0.10 -

Table 2. Physical properties of 304V alloy

Density 0.286 lbs/in3
Modulus Of Elasticity 28.5 psi x 106
Electrical Resistivity 720 µohms-mm
Thermal Conductivity 16.36 W/mK (100°C)

Thermal Treatment of 304V Alloy

The 304V austenitic stainless steel in wire form can acquire tensile strength when stress relieved at 350°C to 427°C temperature. Here, a reducing atmosphere or an inert gas can be utilized. The steel can be quickly annealed at 1010°C to 1121°C temperature. However, the corrosion resistance of the 304V alloy reduces due to a carbide precipitation phenomenon that takes place at 427-899°C. Nevertheless, a test method has been described by the American Society for Testing Materials which ensures that the alloy is not damaged.

Surface Condition

Since stainless steels are drawn to fine diameters, they develop a highly polished appearance. When single crystal natural diamond (SCND) dies are used to process stainless steels, the surface roughness of this alloy can be down to 5 RMS. An alloy with more than 0.040” diameters are processed using polycrystalline dies and have a rougher surface than those processed with natural diamond dies. Alloys with more than 0.100" diameters will exhibit an even rougher surface as they are drawn by means of carbide dies.


The 304V alloy is widely used in medical appliances, as it is one of the most cost-effective materials on the market. Superior strength and the ease of joining with welding makes it the most preferred material in medical applications. A few examples of end products are needles, springs, catheters, stylets and guide wires. Fort Wayne Metals also uses this alloy to make strands, cables, and flat wires. Table 3 shows the mechanical properties of the 304V alloy. These are only typical values and may not denote all diameters.

Table 3. Mechanical properties of 304V alloy

%CW Y.S.(psi) U.T.S.(psi) % Elongation (10" gauge length)
0% 50,000 107,000 41%
20% 70,000 140,000 14%
37% 90,000 184,000 4%
50% 140,000 208,000 3%
60% 160,000 229,000 2.6%
68% 180,000 247,000 2.7%
75% 200,000 265,000 2.6%
80% 215,000 272,000 2.9%
84% 230,000 289,000 2.5%
90% 245,000 306,000 2.6%
93% 250,000 316,000 2.7%
95% 280,000 334,000 2.6%


Fort Wayne Metals’ 304V austenitic stainless steel is a high strength, high formability metal that is widely used in medical appliances. The ease of joining, superior strength, and low cost makes 304V the preferred choice of material for medical applications.

About Fort Wayne Metals

Fort Wayne Metals is a recognized leader in the research, development and production of fine grade medical wire. Our expertise lies in stainless steel, titanium and titanium alloys and specialty alloys such as Nitinol.

Our headquarters are in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We also have a production facility in Ireland as well as warehouse and sales facilities in Castlebar, Ireland to serve the European market.

Fort Wayne Metals is taking an active role in ASM International, a society dedicated to the exchange of material information. We are also active in ASTM, specifically the F-4 committee, which has authored many standards for medical wire.

Fort Wayne Metals

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Fort Wayne Metals.

For more information on this source, please visit Fort Wayne Metals.


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