AISI 304 Stainless Steel Applications And Properties

304 Stainless Steel is the most versatile and widely used stainless steel. Its chemical composition, mechanical properties, weldability, and resistance to corrosion/oxidation provide the best all-around performance stainless steel at a low cost. It also has good low-temperature properties and responds well to cold working hardening. If intergranular corrosion in the heat-affected zone is possible, SS 304L should be used. 

Other than iron, the main alloying element in stainless steel is chromium. In the presence of oxygen, chromium forms a thin layer around the metal, shielding it from the outside environment. It has a high nickel content that ranges between 8 and 10.5 percent by weight, as well as a high chromium content that ranges between 18 and 20% by weight.

Stainless steels are classified into five types: austenitic, ferritic, martensitic, duplex, and precipitation hardened. Austenitic grades account for roughly 70% of total stainless steel consumption. Austenitic Stainless Steel 304 Surgical Pipes are nonmagnetic and have a BCC (Body-Centered Cubic) structure. This stainless steel cannot be heat-hardened, but it can be work-hardened.  Among the austenitic grades, AISI 304 is one of the most versatile. Because of its excellent properties, the grade is used in a wide range of industries.

Common applications of 304 Stainless Steel include:

  • Appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers
  • Commercial food processing equipment
  • Fasteners
  • Piping
  • Heat exchangers
  • Structures in environments that would corrode standard carbon steel.

Properties of Stainless Steel 304:

The American Iron & Steel Institute (AISI) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) have each developed their naming systems for steel alloys based on alloying elements, uses, and other factors. Steel names can be perplexing because the same alloy can have different identifiers depending on the classification system used; however, keep in mind that the chemical composition of most alloy blends remains consistent across classification systems. Stainless steels, for example, are frequently composed of 10 to 30% chromium and are designed to withstand varying degrees of corrosion exposure. 

Stainless Steel 304 is available in a variety of forms, including pipes and tubes. Stainless Steel 304 Pipe is a metallic pipe composed of austenitic stainless steel that contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Stainless Steel 304 Seamless Pipes is primarily due to advancements in steelmaking strategies, particularly in nitrogen content control. The high mechanical strength of Stainless Steel 304 Welded Pipes is a result of the duplex microstructure and nitrogen alloying. Stainless Steel 304 Seamless Pipes are made up of a roughly 50/50 mix of austenitic and ferritic stages and are sometimes referred to as austenitic-ferritic stainless steels.

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AISI 304 Stainless Steel Applications And Properties

by Gayatri Tube time to read: 2 min