Stainless Steel – Grade 304

Masteel's grade 304 stainless steel is one of the most versatile and commonly used stainless steels on the market, and is the most standard used alloy of this type. Grade 304 is essentially an austenitic chromium alloy which is also called an “18/8” stainless because the make-up of the steel is 8% nickel and 18% chromium.

The chromium content promotes the significant resistance of the material to the effects of oxidation and corrosion. In addition to being resistant to most oxidizing acids, the stainless steel alloy can tolerate ordinary rusting though the steel will tarnish over time. The steel has to be cold worked in order to create higher tensile strength. For heavily welded stainless steel sections heavily, post-weld annealing may be required to offer maximum corrosive resistance.

Type 304 Stainless Steel has deep drawing and excellent welding characteristics – it is easy to clean, easy to fabricate, and aesthetically pleasing to the eye.


Applications of Grade 304 Stainless Steel

Grade 304 Stainless Steel is common across the industry, especially in food processing because the material is not vulnerable to corrosion from acids that are present in common foodstuffs. Therefore, this steel is perfect for various items such as work surfaces, sinks, refrigerators, and preparation areas. Also, Grade 304 is a perfect material for use in the pharmaceutical sector for environments such as clean rooms.

In addition, Grade 304 can be found in pipelines, chemical containers, heat exchangers and throughout the brewing industry. The steel can be employed as a fabricated material where steam production gases or high temperature petroleum gases are stored, for example pressure vessels. Grade 304 is also widely used in the construction industry where the material is employed for cosmetic purposes such as a building fascias.

304 & 304L plate and pipes exhibit similar properties and in some cases are stocked with Dual Certification, where it is concluded that each item has a composition and properties which conform to both types of steel. It is not possible to include Grade 304H in this equation because of the steel’s higher carbon content which is meant for use in high temperature applications.

Mechanical Properties

Description Type 304
Proof Stress 0.2% (MPa) 205
Tensile strength (MPa) 515
Elongation A5 (%) 40
Hardness HB: 201
HRB: 92


Chemical Composition

. .
UNS No S30400
EN 1.4301
AISI 304
Carbon (C) 0.07
Silicon (Si) 0.75
Manganese (Mn) 2.00
Phosphorus (P) 0.045
Sulphur (S) 0.030
Chromium (Cr) 17.50 - 19.50
Molybdenum (Mo)  
Nickel (Ni) 8.00 - 10.50
Nitrogen (N) 0.10

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