Stainless Steel is a versatile material finding use in several applications. It is used in various industries, including kitchen products, healthcare, surgical devices, or automobiles. Type 304 stainless steel is the most common stainless steel.
Stainless Steel-Grade 304 (UNS S30400) is referred to in ASTM A240 as 304-grade steel. It is an austenitic chromium alloy, and it is also known as 18/8 stainless steel. This is because it has a composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel. If you are looking for 304 stainless steel tube for usage, you need to know its different properties and its various advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages Of 304 Stainless Steel
Type 304 of stainless steel, because of its excellent performance, finds a wide variety of use. Of the total amount of stainless steel used, Type 304 austenitic stainless steel accounts for 80%. Hence, its production and consumption rate is quite high.
Here are a few of the advantages of 304 stainless steel:
1) Stainless Steel is known for its corrosion-resistant properties. The use of chromium and nickel in the alloy is to resist intergranular corrosion. With its higher chromium-nickel content and low carbon, type 304 is resistant to oxidation.
2) Type 304 Stainless Steel has an impressive hot and cold forming process. It is used in can processing board, in tube, wire, tape and other such products. It is also used in the production of cold heading and deep drawing.
3) Type 304 stainless steel has a better performance at lower temperatures. At -180 ℃ condition, the strength of Type 304 stainless steel is very good. It also has an impressive elongation and area reduction rate at this temperature. When the brittle transition temperature is absent, this finds its use in the low temperatures.
4) The weldability feature of Type 304 stainless steel is good. It can be easily welded using the arc welding process (TIG, MIG, MMA, and SA).
Disadvantages Of 304 Stainless Steel
1) In improper welding, Type 304 stainless steel can face large section size steel intergranular corrosion. Hence T304 is highly susceptible to intergranular corrosion. This involves grain boundary precipitation and chromium carbides in stainless steel.
2) Due to tensile stress and specific corrosive environment corrosion like chloride-bearing environment, it can corrode easily.
3) Type 304 stainless steel has a low mechanical strength.
What Is The Difference Between 304, 304H, And 304L?
Based on Cr-Ni, 304, 304H, and 304L are the variants of Grade 304 stainless steel. They all have a content of 18% chromium and 8% Nickel. But, the entire difference lies in the carbon content.
304L: This 304 stainless steel has an ultra-low carbon content, which amounts to 0.03% or even lesser than that. This helps to prevent intergranular corrosion. The lower content of carbon increases its stress corrosion resistance.
304H: In this variant, the H refers to high temperature. Because of the higher carbon content, it can be used in high temperatures. The carbon content in this should not be lesser than 0.04%. The ability to use it at high temperatures makes it better than pure austenite.
The 304 stainless steel carbon content is in between 304L and 304H. As the carbon content increases, its corrosion resistance property decreases.
What Are The Main Uses Of 304 Stainless Steel?
As it is a versatile material, 304 stainless steel can be used in many industries. Its corrosion resistant property renders it very useful in the food industry, especially in dairy, wine, and beer production or processing. Because of its malleable nature, it can be easily shaped into sinks, troughs, and other sorts of applications used in the kitchen. Type 304 can also be easily spanned to make various kinds of pots and pans.
In the various applications of the architecture, T304 finds its use as it is quite less expensive than 316. Again, its property to resist corrosion makes it suitable for internal paneling and other such fittings. This grade is also used in the external environment away from the marine environment. But it is not resistant to chloride corrosion, and when there is the presence of salt in the atmosphere, it is better to use grade 316.
Because it combines the corrosion resistance property with formability, it is used in chemical containers and also in the transport industry for the manufacturing of several applications.
The heat resistance makes it useful in the manufacture of heat-exchangers. When the temperature is quite high, 304H type of stainless steel should be used.
Type 304 of stainless steel has a good corrosion resistance power in various atmospheric conditions because of the low carbon content and higher Cr-Ni content. However, at certain temperatures, it is susceptible to carbide precipitation and also intergranular corrosion. However, it is a versatile material and finds use in diverse industries.