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What's the Differences Between 304 VS 316 Stainless Steel?

Author:Jacqueline Jin Click: Time:2021-05-24 18:28:18 From:Originally

What's the Differences Between 304 VS 316 Stainless Steel?


Did you know that 304 and 316 are the most popular and widely used types of stainless steel? From the naked eye, it can be extremely difficult to tell the difference between grades of stainless steel. 304 and 316, in particular, look almost identical and the differences between the two are easy to miss. So what are the differences between 304 vs 316 stainless steel? Below we answer that question and discuss different applications where the grades are used.


The most basic difference between the grades of steel is the presence of molybdenum in stainless 316. Molybdenum is a chemical element used for the strengthening and hardening of steel. Its main function in stainless 316 is to help fight off corrosion from chlorides. Stainless 316 contains more nickel than stainless 304, while 304 contains more chromium than 316. Stainless 304 usually consists of 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Stainless 316 is made up of 16% chromium, 10% nickel and 2% molybdenum.

The two steel grades are comparable in appearance, chemical makeup and characteristics. Both steels are durable and provide excellent resistance to corrosion and rust. 304 stainless steel is the most versatile and widely used austenitic stainless steel in the world, due to its corrosion resistance. 304 stainless is also cheaper in cost compared to 316, another reason for its popularity and widespread use.

Stainless 316 is more expensive because it provides a higher corrosion resistance, especially against chlorides and chlorinated solutions. This makes stainless 316 more desirable in applications where salt exposure is an issue. If you have an application with powerful corrosives or chlorides, the extra cost of stainless 316 is highly recommended. In such applications, 316 stainless will last longer than 304, providing you with extra years of life and usage. If your application uses milder acids or does not contain salt exposure, stainless 304 is perfect. Below we list some common applications for both grades of steel.


304 Stainless Steel


Grade 304 stainless steel is generally regarded as the most common austenitic stainless steel. It contains high nickel content that is typically between 8 and 10.5 percent by weight and a high amount of chromium at approximately 18 to 20 percent by weight. Other major alloying elements include manganese, silicon, and carbon. The remainder of the chemical composition is primarily iron.

The high amounts of chromium and nickel give 304 stainless steel excellent corrosion resistance. 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.


316 Stainless Steel


Similar to 304, Grade 316 stainless steel has high amounts of chromium and nickel. 316 also contains silicon, manganese, and carbon, with the majority of the composition being iron. A major difference between 304 and 316 stainless steel is the chemical composition, with 316 containing a significant amount of molybdenum; typically 2 to 3 percent by weight vs only trace amounts found in 304. The higher molybdenum content results in grade 316 possessing increased corrosion resistance.

316 stainless steel is often considered one of the most suitable choices when selecting an austenitic stainless steel for marine applications. Other common applications of 316 stainless steel include:


Chemical processing and storage equipment.

Refinery equipment

Medical devices

Marine environments, especially those with chlorides present



Which Should You Use: Grade 304 or Grade 316?


Here are some situations where 304 stainless steel may be the better choice:


The application requires excellent formability. The higher molybdenum content in Grade 316 can have adverse effects on formability.

The application has cost concerns. Grade 304 is typically more affordable than Grade 316.


Here are some situations where 316 stainless steel may be the better choice:


The environment includes a high amount of corrosive elements.

The material will be placed underwater or be exposed to water consistently.

In applications where greater strength and hardness are required.


To sum it up, 316 steel is worth the expense if you need superior corrosion resistance and your application contains water. If not, 304 steel will serve your needs just fine.


Regard stainless steel, AMJ used for flyscreen for windows and doors, and also the spigots and handrails for balustrades, if you want to know more details, pls don't hesitate to contact us:


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