As you probably know, there are several different types and grades of stainless steel. But do you know which type you’re most likely to find? That would be 304 stainless steel. It’s everywhere. We explained in a previous post how 304 stainless is used in aerospace and defense, but it has many everyday applications as well. At Alliant Metals, we have been supplying steel to several industries for over 30 years.
The chemical composition of 304 stainless steel is what makes it useful across so many industries. 304 stainless contains both chromium and nickel. The chromium content varies from 18% to 20% and the nickel content is between 8% and 10.5%. The chromium content is what prevents 304 stainless from rusting and corroding, which makes it especially good for marine, outdoor, and kitchen equipment. The presence of nickel in its chemical composition makes 304 stainless steel resistant to organic acids, which is essential for kitchen applications.
304 stainless is easily manipulated into any shape, which is another reason why has uses across so many industries. The lower carbon version, 304L, also has excellent welding properties and welders can use any arc welding process when working with it. 304, which has a carbon content no higher than 0.08%, is generally machined or formed into shapes that do not require welding.
The food industry is one of the many industries where you will find many uses for 304 stainless steel. Its resistance to rust and natural acids found in foods make kitchen equipment made of 304 stainless last a long time. A further practical benefit of 304 stainless for kitchen equipment is that it is easily cleaned and disinfected. For a restaurant or school kitchen, having equipment and containers that are easy to disinfect is essential.
The properties that make 304 stainless so easy to clean also make it a very attractive metal. Its shiny, gleaming appearance gives any equipment made from it a clean and put-together appearance. This quality is most obvious in restaurant and industrial kitchen equipment. But equipment made from 304 stainless across all industries has aesthetic appeal.
To add even more shine, Alliant Metals offers metal polishing services. For steel in plate/sheet and flatbar forms, our polishing equipment can improve the finish to a #4 satin polish, also called 180 grit. For applications that require non-porous surfaces, we can offer a #8 mirror finish, also called a “dairy finish” because of its use on dairy tanks.
Alliant Metals has been providing high-quality stainless steel products at competitive prices across several industries for more than three decades. If you need 304 stainless steel or any other steel product, contact our team. Our experts will direct you to the right product for your industry and needs.