What is 304 Stainless Steel?

304 stainless steel



304 stainless steel is one of the most commonly used types of steel. The qualities of this metal make it perfect for a wide variety of applications. Because of its diversity, 304 stainless steel is a prized steel in many industries. In this article, we’re looking at what sets 304 stainless steel apart and the best applications.

Desirable corrosion-resistance properties

304 stainless steel is noted for its higher levels of chromium and nickel content. This content provides higher than average corrosion-resistance properties. Due to the extremely high resistance against corrosion, 304 is a top choice for applications that come into contact with water or chemicals, such as food preparation or outdoor uses. In fact, this type of steel is considered resistant to pitting corrosion in water. Due to the nature of its use, cleaning is a must in many instances. However, the corrosion-resistant properties also make it simple to clean.

The exception to this superior corrosion-resistance is when the steel comes into contact with chlorine or chloride solutions. If salt or other chloride solutions are allowed to penetrate the metal, pitting will occur. The chromium layer will erode leaving the inner steel layers exposed to the elements. Without proper care, erosion will cause rusting. However, rusting can be avoided by cleaning the metal after it comes into contact with any chloride solutions.


Suitable applications

Furthermore, this stainless steel is a cost-effective solution making it desirable to many home and industrial applications. Ideal for home utensils and appliances as well as industrial kitchens, processing equipment, machinery, the automotive industry, and several areas of the architectural world.

Unlike other forms of stainless steel, 304 is not as conductive. This means that 304 does not transfer electricity or heat well. However, this feature can be used to your advantage as a semi-insulating material—such as cooking supplies or appliances.


Perfect for welding

The properties of 304 allow it to be easily molded into whatever shape is needed for the application. This makes it a top choice for custom applications that require more complex forms than sheets or rods. For example, 304 is often used for decorations or useful structures such as ventilation hoods.


stainless steel stock


For more information on 304 stainless steel, contact Alliant Metals today. Our company provides a wide range of quality metal services and products suitable for any application.

Contact us at (800) 543-1453.


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