What Is 304 Stainless Steel - Advantages, Properties, Applications & Difference Between 304 And 316 Stainless Steel

304 steel is the most common grade of stainless steel CNC machining, largely due to its excellent corrosion resistance and value. It is easy to be seen in our life and manufacturing industry. In this article, we’ll introduce stainless steel 304 properties, characteristics, cost, applications, composition, comparison between 304 & 316 stainless steel and more aspects, everything you should know about 304 stainless steel, hope to help you understand basics for CNC machining 304 stainless steel.

What Is 304 Stainless Steel CNC Machining? 

304 stainless steel is a common material in stainless steel, the density is 7.93 g / cm3, also known as 18 / 8 stainless steel in the industry. It is resistant to a high temperature of 800 ℃, with good processing performance and high toughness. It’s ideal for the manufacturing of equipment and parts with good comprehensive performance (corrosion resistance and formability) such as food processor, household appliances, lockset, kitchen and sanitary ware, door and window, medical apparatus, architectural ornament, etc. In order to maintain the inherent corrosion resistance of stainless steel, the steel must contain more than 18% chromium and more than 8% nickel. 304 stainless steel is a brand of stainless steel produced according to the American ASTM standard.


Chemical Properties Of 304 Stainless Steel 

● Tensile strength σ B (MPA) ≥ 515-1035

● Conditional yield strength σ 0.2 (MPA) ≥ 205

● Elongation δ 5 (%) ≥ 40

● Hardness: ≤ 201hbw; ≤ 92hrb; ≤ 210hv

● Density (20 ℃, g / cm3): 7.93

● Melting point (℃): 1398 ~ 1454

● Specific heat capacity (0 ~ 100 ℃, kJ · kg-1k-1): 0.50

● Thermal conductivity (w · M-1 · k-1): (100 ℃) 16.3, (500 ℃) 21.5

● Linear expansion coefficient (10-6 · k-1): (0 ~ 100 ℃) 17.2, (0 ~ 500 ℃) 18.4

● Resistivity (20 ℃, 10-6 Ω· m2 / M): 0.73

● Longitudinal elastic modulus (20 ℃, kn / mm2): 193


304 Stainless Steel Advantages For CNC Machining

– The tensile strength is better than ordinary stainless steel materials. It can achieve the effect of 520MPA, so it is very convenient to process and easy to design.

– Corrosion-resistant, has longer life than ordinary steel.

– Has good welding performance.

– The hardness, density, and specific heat capacity of 304 stainless steel are very good. Both in processing and in use, they have very good stability and safety.

– 304 stainless steel has a beautiful surface It does not need surface treatment such as color plating, but gives full play to the inherent surface properties of stainless steel.

– The biggest feature of 304 stainless steel is that it contains more ni elements and CR elements inside. This greatly improves the corrosion resistance of 304 stainless steel.


316 Vs 304 Stainless Steel – What Is The Difference Between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel?

In our life, there is another kind of stainless steel is 316, which is also commonly used to make tableware stainless steel. Here we’ll compare 304 with 316, explaining from composition, properties, cost and uses. Select the right CNC machining stainless steel material as per your requirements.

1. Composition: 304 contains 17.5%-19.5% chromium and 8%-10.5% nickel while 316 contains 16.5%-18.5% chromium, 10%-13% nickel and 2%-2.5% molybdenum.

2. Properties: the higher molybdenum content results in grade 316 getting increased corrosion resistance. Stainless steel 316 has a greater resistance to chemical attack and oxidations than 304. 304 has higher formability than 316. 

3. Price: 304 steel is more affordable than 316.

4. Applications:

304 stainless steel applications:

For 304 stainless steel CNC machined parts, it will have more advantages as 304 stainless steel. It is used for a variety of household and industrial applications such as food handling and processing equipment, screws, machinery parts, Utensils, auto parts, aerospace components and consumer appliances. 304 stainless steel is also used in the architectural field for exterior accents such as water and fire features. It is also a common coil material for vaporizers.

316 stainless steel applications:

● Stainless steel floats

● Marine parts

● Outdoor electrical enclosures

● Chemical Equipment

● Pharmaceutical equipment

● Auto moldings and trim

● Wheel covers

● Storage tanks

● Kitchen equipment and appliances


Which is better 304 or 316 stainless steel? When corrosion resistance is not required, 304 stainless steel is better because the unit price of 304 stainless steel is lower than that of 316 stainless steel. When the application scenario has high requirements on chloride ion corrosion resistance and heat resistance, 316 stainless steel is better, because 316L stainless steel contains molybdenum (MO) element, and the carbide formed is extremely stable, which can prevent the grain growth of austenite during heating, and reduce the overheat sensitivity of steel. In a word, which one is better, 316 stainless steel or 304, needs to be considered comprehensively in order to be reliable, durable and cost-effective. Diecasting-mould.com is a reliable expert CNC machining company that offers quick-turn precision CNC machining services, if  you have any needs of precision stainless steel 304 or 306 machining parts, welcome to choose us!