What is 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, and it’s a prized steel in many industries. Take a look at what sets 304 stainless steel apart, and who can use it.

This steel is noted for its high chromium content. This gives it its corrosion-resistance properties. The steel is cost-effective, which is why it’s often used in home and architectural applications.

304 stainless steel is not as conductive as other types of steels. This means that it doesn’t transfer electricity or heat well. This can be used to your advantage as a semi-insulating material—such as cooking supplies or appliances.

This steel is extremely useful against corrosion. This makes it a top choice for applications that come into contact with water or chemicals, such as food preparation or outdoor uses. The steel needs to be cleaned in many instances, but the corrosion-resistant properties also make it simple to clean.

The exception to this steel’s corrosion resistance is when it comes into contact with chlorine or chloride solutions. If salt or other chloride solutions are allowed to stay on the metal, then the metal will begin pitting. The chromium layer will be eaten away, and the inner steel layers will be exposed to the elements. Without proper care, this can cause rusting. However, this can be avoided by cleaning the metal after it comes into contact with any chloride solutions.

304 stainless steel is handy for forming or welding. Its properties allow it to be easily shaped 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 stainless steel is often used for decorations or useful structures such as ventilation hoods.

Contact Alliant Metals today to learn how we can help you find the perfect steel for your needs. We have 304 stainless steel as well as other varieties so that you’ll have the best stainless steel for your next project.

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