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304 stainless steel VS. 316 stainless steel

What is 304 Stainless Steel ?


304 stainless steel is most notably present in industrial applications and kitchen equipment. It is a highly heat-resistant grade, and offers good corrosion resistance to many chemical corrodents, as well as industrial atmospheres. With good formability, 304 stainless steel can be readily welded by all common methods.

304L stainless steel is an extra low carbon variation that avoids harmful carbide precipitation due to welding. This variation offers the same corrosion resistance as 304 stainless steel, but with slightly lower mechanical properties.


What is 316 Stainless Steel ?

316 stainless steel has better resistance to chloride corrosion and pitting corrosion than 304 stainless steel, and has higher strength at high temperatures. This is due in part to the addition of molybdenum. This is what makes it an ideal grade for such applications as pumps, valves, textile and chemical equipment, pulp & paper and marine applications.

316L stainless steel is the extra low carbon version of 316 stainless steel that helps avoid carbide precipitation due to welding.


When it comes to 304 stainless steel vs. 316 stainless steel, while both are good for corrosion resistance, strength, welding, and heat resistance, 316 stainless steel gets the slight edge in all these categories due to variation in alloying elements.


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