What is the difference between 304 vs 316 stainless steel ?

304 and 316 are the most widely used and popular stainless steels. Although the two kinds of stainless steel look almost the same, there are also differences between them. Now we analyze 304 vs 316 stainless steel. According to your budget, they can save your cost in the use of alloy steel products.
All stainless steels contain alloying elements such as Fe and Cr. The composition proportion of different alloy elements constitutes the difference between them.

CF8 Austenitic stainless steel, 304 stainless steel

Difference of chemical properties between 304 and 316 stainless steel

Stainless 304 usually consists of 18% chromium and 8% nickel. Stainless 316 is made up of 16% chromium, 10% nickel, and 2% molybdenum. There are 18% Cr and 8% Ni in 304 stainless steel. The content of Cr in 316 stainless steel is less, about 15%, but Ni is more, and Mo will be added to the alloy.
Mo is a kind of alloy element that can strengthen the hardness and strength of steel, which can make 316 stainless steel obtain better corrosion resistance. 304 stainless steel contains more Cr, while 316 stainless steel contains more Ni.
304 stainless steel contains 18% Cr, 8% Ni.
316 stainless steel contains 16% Cr, 10% Ni and 2% mo.

304 vs 316 stainless steel properties

Both stainless 304 and stainless 316 have good durability, corrosion resistance, and rust resistance.
304 austenitic stainless steel has a wide range of uses and excellent corrosion resistance, while stainless 316 has higher corrosion resistance, especially in high corrosion environment, especially in chlorination environment and salt corrosion environment. In this kind of application, the service time of stainless 316 is longer than that of stainless 304

304 vs 316 stainless steel cost

As one of the most popular kinds of stainless steel, 304 stainless steel has good physical properties, and its biggest feature is its low price. 316 stainless steel is more expensive because of its higher corrosivity. 316 stainless steel is suitable for a high corrosive environment, while 304 stainless steel is the perfect choice for a relatively mild environment.

304 vs 316 stainless steel tensile strength

Gradestensile strength/MPayield strength/MPa
304515205
304L485170
316515205
316L485170

304 vs 316 stainless steel applications

Applications for 304 Stainless Steel

  • Interior decoration
  • Storage
  • Cooking utensils
  • Electrical enclosure
  • Alloy forgings
  • Auto parts
  • Electrical appliances
  • Stainless steel pipe
  • Casting

Applications for 316 Stainless Steel

  • Stainless steel pipe and wear resistant pipe
  • Marine parts
  • Chemical industry
  • Pharmaceutical and medical equipment
  • High temperature casting
  • Structural steel and forgings in marine environment

In short, the difference between 304 vs 316 stainless steel is mainly reflected in price and corrosion resistance. If you want to apply in a high corrosive environment, 316 stainless steel can greatly increase the service life. If not, 304 stainless steel can be used.

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