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Type 303, 304, 316 & 17-4 Stainless Steel Alloys
Farmers Copper is an industry-leading Stainless Steel Supplier. We maintain a large inventory of various stainless steel grades, including 218, 303, 304, 316, 17-4 pH, and more. Known for its corrosion resistance characteristics, stainless steel is a widely used alloy comprised of a minimum of 10.5% chromium by mass. The chemical composition of each stainless steel grade differs, and the addition of chromium and/or molybdenum increases the corrosion resistance of the alloy.
Stainless Steel FamiliesStainless steels are classified by their crystal structure, which determines the metallurgical behavior of the steel. There are five main families of stainless steel, which include austenitic, martensitic, ferritic, duplex, and precipitation hardening.
Stainless Steel Applications
The different grades and finishes of stainless steel make the composition suitable for a wide variety of environments, and each grade of stainless steel can be used in a broad range of functions. The most commonly used grade of stainless steel is type 304, which is also known as A2 or 18/8. 304 stainless steel is the 18/8 stainless found in kitchen cutlery and cooking tools, though it has many other commercial applications. Type 316 stainless, however, contains higher nickel and molybdenum content than type 304, which increases its resistance to corrosion. Type 316 is often used in chemical processing, food and beverage processing, and in pulp and paper machinery. Regardless of the application, there is a grade of stainless steel that will meet your needs.
Stainless Steel Grades
303 stainless steel (UNS S30300) is the free-machining grade of 304 with specific limits of sulfur added to produce free-machining characteristics for use in automatic machining operations. Type 303 is a non-magnetic austenitic stainless steel, which is non-hardenable by heat treatment. 303 SS is available in round, square, hex and flat bar shapes.
304/304L stainless (UNS S30400) is the most common and widely used stainless steel. It is an austenitic stainless steel with non-magnetic properties in the annealed condition that offers good corrosion resistance to both chemical and atmospheric exposures, with a high resistance to oxidation. Type 304/304L has good forming and excellent welding characteristics. It is non-hardenable by heat treatment. SS type 304 is available in round, square, hex, and flat bar variety in addition to the sheet, plate, tube, pipe, and angle shapes.
316/316L stainless (UNS S31600) is a chromium-nickel austenitic stainless steel with added molybdenum, which provides greater resistance to corrosion and pitting. It is non- magnetic, and offers higher strength at elevated temperatures. It is non-hardenable by heat treatment. Similar to 304, SS 316 is available in the round, square, hex or flat bar and sheet, plate and angle shapes.
17-4 PH stainless steel (UNS S17400) is a precipitation hardenable, martensitic stainless steel that delivers an excellent combination of oxidation and corrosion resistance, and is comparable to 304 in most conditions or environments. Mechanical properties, such as strength and ductility, can be optimized with heat treatment. SS type 17-4 is available as a round bar.