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304 VS 316 STAINLESS STEEL
Source: UAITE STEEL CO., LTDDate: 2021-06-07
There are more than 60 grades of stainless steel. Stainless steel is essentially a low carbon steel containing 10% or more chromium by weight. It is the addition of chromium that gives steel its unique stainless steel corrosion resistance properties. Austenitic stainless steels 304 and 316 are considered medical or surgical grade stainless steels, they are the most common stainless steels. The key difference that makes them different is the addition of molybdenum, an alloy that dramatically improves corrosion resistance, especially for more saline or chloride-exposed environments. 316 stainless steel contains molybdenum, but 304 does not. Both 300 grade steels are known for their excellent welding and forming properties, which give them applications in many industries. These alloys cannot be hardened by heat treatment, but can develop high strength by cold working.

In pharmaceutical, power generation and chemical process applications, austenitic stainless steels such as 304 are often the first choice. Molybdenum is used primarily for increased corrosion resistance in 316, making it ideal for more acidic environments. Certain critical petroleum, chemical and marine applications with corrosive chloride gas require the improved resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion of molybdenum modified 316 stainless steels.

Austenitic 300 Series - Typical Grade: Chromium 304 (17-25%); non-magnetic, non-heat treatable. It can develop high strength by cold work. Molybdenum (up to 7%) can increase corrosion resistance, especially resistance to pitting and crevice corrosion.

Typical use: Food and beverage, cryogenics, chemical processes, medical (hypodermic needles, implants, stents), instrumentation / chromatography tubing, oil and gas, hydraulic tubing, and marine applications. Super austenitic (high nickel content) grades extend performance for applications requiring extreme corrosion and oxidation / scale resistance or higher strengths.

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