SS 304 Chemical Composition and Uses

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Today steel is considered to be the backbone of several industries. It is made by blending different alloying elements into one base metal. Steel is made of iron and carbon primarily with few trace elements, which provides unique properties to the steel. Stainless steel is one category of steel that mostly uses chromium to reduce corrosion witnessed by iron-based components. This guide will help designers know about this material and the type of industries in which 304 stainless steel can be used to help them select the right material for their project. It will help you to understand the ss 304 chemical composition, application, and other properties of 304 stainless steel.

What is SS304?

SS 304 is one of the widely used and versatile Stainless steel. It comes under the austenitic stainless steel grade category and is mostly used for making saucepans and sinks. There are three main categories of type 304 stainless steel such as

  • 304 alloy
  • 304 L
  • 304H alloy

The three categories differ from one another based on the carbon contained. 304L has the lowest carbon content of only 0.03%, while 304H has the highest carbon content of 0.04 to 0.1%. 304 types of steel are made by combining iron, nickel, and chromium alloy. It is a high-grade popular stainless steel chosen because it has amazing corrosion-resistant properties. 304 stainless steel also resists rusting in environments where chlorides can mainly attack. It experiences high pitting in temperatures above 60 degrees Celsius; however, with the high carbon grade, like 304 edges, you can solve this effect relatively. 304 stainless steel does not rust in higher temperatures but only in aqueous solutions when continuous contact with other corrosive materials wears this alloy. If the main priority of your project is corrosion resistance, then 304 alloy will be the best choice since it has corrosion resistance content that lowers intergranular corrosion.

Corrosion Resistance

Type 304 stainless steel has excellent corrosion-resistant characteristics, so it is used in environments that come in contact with corrosive media. Crevice and pitting corrosion usually occur in chloride-containing environments, and 304 stainless steel can be used in such environments. Stress corrosion cracking may occur above the temperature of 60 degrees Celsius.

Also Read : What are the major features of Stainless Steel 304?

Heat Resistance

S304 has excellent resistance to oxidation in both continuous (till 925 degrees Celsius) and intermittent service (till 870 degrees Celsius). Although for continuous use at temperatures 425 to 860 degrees Celsius, 304 stainless steel is not recommended, and you can use 304L instead because it has resistant characteristics to carbide precipitation. 304H is usually recommended for an application that requires high resistance and a temperature of more than 500 degrees to 800 degrees Celsius.

Ss 304 chemical composition is as follows

Element percent present

  • Nickel 8.00 – 10.50
  • Carbon 0.07
  • Manganese     2.00
  • Chromium    17.50 – 19.50
  • Silicon 1.00
  • Nitrogen        0.10
  • Phosphorus 0.045
  • Iron balance


What are the uses of 304 stainless steel?

304 stainless steel is known as food-grade steel because it is usually unreactive with organic acids and is commonly used in food processing industries. It has excellent machinability, weldability, and workability properties, making it suitable for application in places requiring great corrosion resistance and complexity. Stainless steel 304 is used to manufacture the following

  • Splashbacks and sinks
  • Kitchen equipment like Saucepans
  • Screws, springs, nuts, and bolts
  • Sanitary wear, as well as troughs
  • Tubing
  • Food, brewery, pharmaceutical equipment, and dairy equipment production
  • Architectural paneling
  • Hypodermic needles

From the following applications, it is clear that SS304 can be used in diverse areas because of its excellent properties and characteristics, which makes it an ideal choice for projects that require strong stainless steel. Always contact your stainless steel supplier to confirm the specifications you want to meet and whether 304 stainless steel is appropriate for that job.

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