Since its fabrication in the 20th century, stainless steel has been an important material in many projects due to its durability, high machinability, weldability, and flexibility. It contains several elements in different percentages, which are responsible for the different grades known today. It is an alloy that is created to resist corrosion and other forms of weathering. It is a type of steel alloy, also known as ferritic steel. Stainless steel does not corrode or rust as easily as regular steel and has the ability to withstand higher temperatures without losing its resilience or quality. Stainless steel is also recyclable. This means that it can be reused over and over again, making it a very eco-friendly material. Finally, stainless steel is relatively affordable. This makes it a great choice for many different applications.
Two Types of Stainless Steel
There are two types of stainless steel, 304 and 316, which are the most common types in the market today. There are a few different types of stainless steel, but the two most common are 304 and 316. Both are strong and durable, but they have some key differences. 304 stainless steel is the most common type. It’s often used in food preparation and kitchen appliances. It’s also known for being corrosion-resistant.
316 stainless steel is more expensive than 304, but it’s also more resistant to corrosion. It’s often used in marine applications because of this. Both types of stainless steel are easy to clean and maintain. They’ll both last a long time if taken care of properly.
Both SS 304 and SS 316 are austenitic stainless steels used in different capabilities in rapid prototyping processes such as Steel Metal Fabrication and CNC machining. Both 304 and 316 stainless steel are iron-based alloys that contain chromium. The difference between the two is that 316 stainless steel contains molybdenum, while 304 does not. Molybdenum is a metal that is added to 316 stainless steel to increase its corrosion resistance. This makes it ideal for use in environments where it will be exposed to salt water or other corrosive materials. 304 stainless steel is also resistant to corrosion, but it is not as resistant as 316. This makes it more suitable for use in indoor applications.
If you need a stainless steel alloy that is resistant to corrosion, then 316 stainless steel is the better option. However, if you do not need this level of resistance, then 304 stainless steel will be fine.
304 Stainless Steel
- Type 304 stainless steel is one of the most common types of stainless steel. It is also known as “18/8” stainless steel because it contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel.
- 304 stainless steel is the most widely used type of stainless steel. It is often used in food processing, kitchenware, and medical equipment.
- Type 304 stainless steel is very easy to clean and maintain. You can simply wipe it down with a soft cloth and warm water. If you need to remove any tough stains, you can use a mild soap or detergent.
- To retain the shine of stainless steel, you can polish it with a soft cloth and a non-abrasive cleaner. You should avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives on your stainless steel, as they can damage the finish.
- With proper care, your type 304 stainless steel will last for many years to come!
316 Stainless Steel
- 316 stainless steel is an alloy that contains chromium, nickel, and molybdenum. It’s often used in chemical processing, the food and beverage industry, and the pharmaceutical industry.
- 316 stainless steel is more expensive than 304, but it is also more corrosion resistant. It is often used in marine environments and chemical processing plants.
- This type of stainless steel is durable and corrosion-resistant, making it ideal for many commercial applications. Some of the most common uses for 316 stainless steel include:
- Food processing equipment
- Chemical processing equipment
- Marine applications
- Household Uses of 316 Stainless Steel:
- Light fixtures
SO WHICH IS BETTER… 316 OR 304 STAINLESS STEEL?
With the benefits offered by 316 stainless steel, you might wonder why 304 remains the most popular.
If you’re still contemplating which one to choose, consider these common uses for the two grades:
304 STAINLESS STEEL
- Water piping
- Storage tanks
- Indoor electrical enclosures
- Wheel covers
- Automotive trim
- Kitchen equipment
- Decorative trim
316 STAINLESS STEEL
- Chemical piping
- Pharmaceutical equipment
- Medical equipment
- Chemical equipment
- Stainless steel floats
- Structural steel and components in marine environments
- Commercial kitchen surfaces, equipment, and appliances
In short, it’s mostly about cost and corrosion resistance requirements. If you don’t need the added resistance of 316, standard 304 grades will offer similar performance and longevity at a lower price point.
However, in situations where the added resistance is needed, 316 often improves the functional lifespan of steel products by years. This can lead to drastic long-term savings despite the initial increase in investment.
Looking for more information on the various traits and performance considerations surrounding other stainless steel grades? By matching the grade of stainless to your intended usage and environment, you can optimize both the financial and physical benefits of your stainless steel investment.
Newzel Industries caters to all customers with respect to stainless steel. Various steel products can be delivered to the customers at the stipulated time. We are in an endeavor to create an impact in the stainless steel industry, and attain collaborative growth with our clients.