SS304 vs. SS316 Stainless Steel: Choosing the Right Valve Material

Did you know that there are more than 100 different types of stainless steel? They differ depending on the composing materials and their respective quantities. For example, austenitic steels are more resistant to corrosion while martensitic steels have up to 18% chromium and are used to make surgical instruments.

But most people are usually curious what are the differences between SS304 vs SS316 stainless steel. These metals look almost identical, but they have a few key differences which make them suitable for different applications.

Keep reading to learn more about the difference between 304 and 316 stainless steel.

What Is 304 Stainless Steel?

The 304 stainless steel also known as SS304 is usually cheaper than 316 stainless steel. This metal contains up to 18% chromium and up to 8% nickel. It’s a strong metal with high resistance against corrosion and it can be easily fabricated. This is considered to be one of the most popular austenitic steels available on the market today.

When it comes to uses, SS304 can be found in kitchen sinks and other appliances such as toasters and microwave ovens. SS304 is also used to make pressure vessels, wheel covers as well as for building facades. One of the main advantages of this metal is the fact that it can prevent product contamination, so it’s frequently used to make food preparation equipment.

What Is 316 Stainless Steel?

One of the main differences between 316 stainless steel and 304 stainless steel is that 316 contain up to 2% molybdenum. The addition of this chemical component makes the SS316 even more resistant to corrosion and oxidation. This metal also has a slightly higher amount of nickel and it contains trace amounts of sulfur and phosphorus.

Thanks to the fact that SS316 is more resistant to corrosion, it’s frequently used in marine applications. It can easily resist chlorides found in the salty water environment and it’s also used in the gas refining industry. SS316 is also used to make surgical instruments and it’s very popular in the paper industry. It is considered to be slightly more expensive than SS304, but not by much.

How To Tell Which One Is SS304 or SS316?

As mentioned earlier, these two metals are almost identical in appearance. There is no real way to tell which one is which unless you receive a material test report. This report contains the chemical composition of each metal and it’s usually delivered when you receive your 304 and 316 stainless steel. The manufacturers might even draw a large “6” on the SS316 to help you differentiate it from SS304.

Although these two metals have important differences, they also have a lot of things in common. For example, both SS304 and SS316 are very durable and can be used for decades in different applications. They’re both easy to form and can be fabricated at small costs, in comparison with other types of steels.

Now You Know The Differences Between SS304 vs SS316 Steels!

Hopefully, this article helped you understand the similarities and differences between SS304 vs SS316. If you need more information or you’d like for someone to assist you when ordering SS304 and SS316 steels then make sure that you contact us today!