While using steel, many people are confused between SS 304 and SS 316, which steel grade to use in the working environment so that the material used in the application should last for a long time. The material can be anything used in the form of fastener, bolt, rod, sheets, plate, pipe etc. so here we will help you to select best grade of steel suited for your product and application.
So now let us discuss the difference between 304(18-8 Stainless steel) vs 316(18/10 Stainless steel)
18-8 stainless steel is also referred to as 304 stainless steel because the chemical composition is the same in both 18-8 & 304 SS. The no 18-8 represent the chemical composition, i.e. chromium 18% and nickel 8%, which make it excellent resistance to corrosion. In 304 there two more grade, i.e. 304L, which is low carbon grade and 304H, which is high carbon grade and 304 is general grade. SS 304 also known as A2 stainless
Let us talk about the pros and cons of AISI 304 or 18-8 stainless steel
• High corrosion resistance
• Less heat sensitive than 302
• Stronger than mild steels
• Vulnerable to saltwater corrosion
• Requires proper tools to machine well
304/18-8 SS should be used when the low cost is more important than corrosion resistance and not working in a marine environment and product is not exposed in a corrosive environment.
• Appliances such as refrigerators & dishwashers
• Commercial food processing equipment
• Heat exchangers
• Structures in atmospheres that would corrode standard carbon steel.
SS 316 contains 16% chromium and 10% nickel and other elements; therefore, it is also referred to as 18-10 stainless steel. SS 316 have other grades like 316L, which is a low carbon grade, 316F free machining grade and 316N, which is high nitrogen grade. It is suitable for marine and high salinity environment. It is also called A4 stainless
Let us talk about the pros and cons of AISI 316 or 18-10 stainless steel
• Stronger than 304 stainless • Extremely corrosion resistant • performs well against pitting • Resistant to salt water • Resistant to caustic chemicals
• Requires the precise tools to machine well • More expensive than 304
SS 316 is used when corrosion resistance is more significant than cost and if we are working in a marine environment and with corrosive chemicals
• Chemical processing and storage equipment. • Refinery equipment • Medical devices • Marine environments, especially those with chlorides present
So depending upon working environment and the product budget best grade should be selected to create a project so that it can last for a longer time in a working environment because in some cases SS 304 work better and in some cases, SS 316 work better
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