Stainless steel is an alloy of Iron and carbon. Steel contains a minimum of 10.5% Chromium and less than 1.2% carbon and other alloying elements. Chromium produces a thin layer of oxide on the surface to prevents corrosion of the surface. Increasing the amount of Chromium gives an increased resistance to corrosion.

Stainless steel also contains varying amounts of Carbon, Silicon and Manganese. Stainless steel’s corrosion resistance and mechanical properties can be further enhanced by adding other elements, such as nickel, molybdenum, titanium, niobium, manganese, etc.

The Difference Between 304 and 316 Stainless Steel

304 Stainless Steel (18Cr-8Ni) 

As a kind of steel with a wide range of uses, it has good corrosion resistance, heat resistance, low-temperature strength, and mechanical properties. Stamping, bending and other thermal processing, no heat treatment hardening phenomenon. No magnetic can be well used in temperature -196℃~800℃.

Household goods (tableware, cabinets, indoor pipelines, water heaters, boilers, bathtubs), auto parts (windshield wipers, mufflers, molded products), medical appliances, building materials, chemicals, food industry, agriculture, ship parts.

304 stainless steel is one of the most common forms of stainless steel applied around the world, largely due to its excellent corrosion resistance. 304 contains between 16 and 24 % chromium and up to 35 % nickel, also with small amounts of carbon and manganese.

304 can withstand corrosion from most oxidizing acids. It is easy to sanitize due to the durability of 304. Therefore, it is ideal for kitchen and food applications, which is also common in buildings, décor, and site furnishings.

304 stainless steel does have one weakness: it is susceptible to corrosion from chloride solutions, or from saline environments like the coast.

  • 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 (18Cr-12Ni-2.5 Mo)

Due to the addition of Mo, its corrosion resistance, atmospheric corrosion resistance, and high-temperature strength are particularly good, can be used in caustic conditions; Excellent work hardening, no magnetic.

Seawater equipment, chemical, dye, paper, fertilizer, and other production equipment; Food industry, coastal facilities, ropes, CD poles, bolts, nuts.

316 grade is the second-most common form of stainless steel, it has similar material make-up as 304 stainless steel. The key difference is 316 stainless steel contains about 2 to 3 percent molybdenum, which decreases the possibility of corrosion resistance.

316 stainless steel is commonly used in many industrial applications involving processing chemicals, as well as coastal regions and outdoor areas where de-icing salts are common. Due to its non-reactive qualities, 316 stainless steel is also used in the manufacture of medical surgical instruments.

  • Chemical processing and storage equipment.
  • Refinery equipment
  • Medical devices

Marine environments, especially those with chlorides present