Difference between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel
You might have come across different varieties of stainless steel products in the market. Selecting the perfect Stainless Steel Manufacturer in Delhi might seem like a forever task for many individuals. But if you know some of the intricate details of the types of SS products available in the market, the selection game becomes more manageable.
Among the different variants, 304 and 316 steel might seem identical at a glance. But are these two varieties similar to each other? Well, there are a few distinct similarities among these varieties of stainless steel available in the market. But there are striking differences as well. And these differences can lead to quite a few substantial savings depending on how you use these stainless steel pipes and tubes for your different activities.
All the stainless steels available in the market are available with a mix of iron and chromium at various levels. But the differences between these varieties arise from the exact combination and other elements present in these forms of stainless steel.
Among the rest, the most popular one is the 304 type. It contains around 8% nickel and 18% chromium with other alloys existing within the same grade only. However, the 316 variety tends to consist of a lesser amount of chromium than the 304 types.
About 304 Stainless Steel
Grade 304 stainless steel happens to be widely considered as the most frequent austenitic stainless steel. This form of stainless steel comes with high nickel content, ranging from 8 to 10.5 percent by weight. Did you know that W. H. Hatfield developed this composition of 304 SS at Firth-Vickers in the year 1924?
It also has a fair amount of chromium at approximately ranging from 18 -20 percent by weight. The other associated alloying elements present in this form include silicon, manganese, and even carbon. What stays in here as a remainder is primarily iron.
High amounts of both nickel and chromium make this 304 stainless steel resistant to corrosive items. This form of steel is less thermally and electrically conductive than carbon steel. It is nearly magnetic but also relatively less magnetic as compared to steel. As it has high resistance towards any corrosive items, it is widely used to form into different shapes.
Key Features Of Grade 304
Some essential features of the 304 variety are:
- 304 stainless performs brilliantly even when exposed to a range of atmospheric environments
- It is pretty useful in resisting the harmful effects of the corrosive items
- Another outstanding feature of the 304 variety is its heat resistance. It can withstand continuous usage of heat and is resistant to carbide precipitation
- This variety of SS Steel is easy to weld as it offers excellent weldability
- Shows excellent strength and toughness even in high temperatures
Applications of Grade 304
Some of the significant applications of 304 form of stainless steel are:
- Manufacture of appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators
- As an active participant in commercial food processing equipment
- Manufacturing of chemical containers, kitchen sinks, consumer durables
- In food processing equipment, particularly in milk processing, beer brewing, and winemaking
- Actively used in the fasteners and the flange manufacturing plant
- Heat exchangers
- Used for architectural applications like roofing, cladding, doors, windows, etc.
- Automotive and aerospace components
- Widely used in the manufacturing of substances which would corrode standard carbon steel
About 316 Stainless Steel
Just like 304, 316 variety of steel also consists of fair amounts of chromium and nickel. However, the latter is the standard molybdenum-bearing grade, which is second in importance to the 304 forms of stainless steel.
The presence of molybdenum provides 316 a better corrosion-resistant property as compared to the 304 Grade one. It mainly shows higher resistance to pit and crevice corrosion even in chloride environments.
And due to such property, you get excellent welding and forming characteristics. Unlike the other varieties, 316 stainless steel is readily available for rolling into different industrial purposes and transportation and architectural fields. It also offers outstanding welding characteristics.
Key Features of Grade 316
Some of the essential features of Grade 316 stainless steel are:
As already highlighted above, this variety is subject to pitting and even crevice corrosion in warm chloride situations. Grade 316 is also resistant to stress corrosion cracking right above 60 °C. The experts consider it to be quite resistant to potable water till 1000 mg/L chlorides at ambient temperatures.
Although this variant is considered “marine grade stainless steel,” it isn’t resistant to warm seawater. In selective marine environments, this one exhibits surface corrosion, which is also visible as the brown staining.
Grade 316 is heat resistant. Hence, it finds usage for continuous service to 925 °C. It is also quite resistant to carbide precipitation, and one can extensively use it in different higher temperature ranges. In manufacturing plants, one can use this variety for pressure-containing applications at temperatures beyond 500 °C.
Grade 316 stainless steel shows excellent weldability by standard fusion preparations. It is applicable for both without and with filler metals. You get different varieties of Grade 316 for such purposes, and these other varieties can be used as an alternative for heavy section welding.
Applications of Grade 316
Some of the significant applications of Grade 316 are:
- Used in the food preparation equipment industry, particularly in the chloride environments
- Preparation of laboratory benches and equipment
- Manufacturing of railings, coastal architectural paneling, and trim
- Boat fittings
- Heat exchangers
- For making chemical containers, including for transport
- Welded screens for mining, quarrying, and even water filtration
- Springs and threaded fasteners
316 Or 304 Stainless Steel: Which One Is Better?
The significant differences that lie between these two variants are because of their chemical properties. In most cases, 304 might be the ultimate choice for many users.
You need to decide the right one depending on the cost as well as the corrosion resistance requirements. In case you do not need any added resistance of 316, refer to Grade 304, which offers similar performances and even longevity at lower prices. But if you require additional resistance, find the right stainless steel manufacturer for getting the finest 316 variety for all the steel products’ functional lifespan. Are you looking for the best manufacturer in town? Check out the products offered by Maven Stainless Steel.
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