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Stainless Steel Type Characteristics

Blog Stainless Steel Type Characteristics

Farmer’s Copper carries an extensive stock of the stainless products in types 303, 304, 316, and 17-4. Known for its’ corrosion resistance characteristics, the different grades and finishes of stainless steel make the composition suitable for a wide variety of environments. Stainless Steel is used in many applications and each grade of SS can be used in a broad range of functions. Below are the qualities of each of the types of stainless grades we offer.

Type 303
• Free machining grade of 304 and has machiniability rating of 60%
• Good corrosion resistance
• Non-magnetic austenitic stainless steel
• Non-hardenable by heat treatment

Type 304
• Recommended for welded construction of lighter sections where annealing is not practicable and good corrosion resistance is desired
• Utilized in the brewing and food processing industry
• Used for heat exchangers, chemical containers and more
• Has similar mechanical and welding properties to type 302
• Slightly better ductility than 302, resulting in improved deep drawing qualities

Type 316
• Chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steel with added molybdenum
• Provides greater resistance to corrosion and pitting
• Non- magnetic
• Offers higher strength at elevated temperatures
• It is non-hardenable by heat treatment
• Similar mechanicals to 302 or 304
• Extensive use in chemical processing equipment

Type 17-4
• Martensitic stainless steel
• Precipitation hardenable
• Oxidation and corrosion resistance
• Mechanicals (strength and ductility) can be optimized with heat treatment
• Great weldability
• Generally does not require preheating or post-annealing

Farmer’s also carries the avariations of the low carbon requirement per the ASTM specification as defined as “L” in types 304 and 316. You ask why use the “L” grade, well the low carbon has better weldability for one example. There is also what is referred to as dual certified , which is the result of the carbon content overlapping in the spec and meets both types of stainless as in the example of 304/304L. 316/316L has the same logic.

Stainless is used in various industries including jewelry and watch making, brewing and food processing, heat exchangers, chemical containers, and much more. Apart from of the application, stainless steel types can be used in a very wide range of functions. The San Antonio branch of Farmer’s Copper maintains a large inventory of various grades of stainless steel. Call us today with your inquiries!