Special Steel 304/304L

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Overview of Special Steel 304/304L

Special Special Steel 304/304L are among the most popular stainless steel grades used in various industries. Known for their exceptional resistance to corrosion and excellent formability, these grades are integral to many applications, from kitchen equipment to chemical containers. But what sets these steels apart? Why are they favored over other types? Let’s delve into the specifics of 304 and 304L stainless steel, exploring their chemical composition, mechanical properties, applications, and more.

Chemical Composition of Special Steel 304/304L

Understanding the chemical makeup of these steels is crucial. The composition impacts everything from strength to corrosion resistance. Here’s a breakdown of the elements in 304 and 304L stainless steel.

Nguyên tố304 (%)304L (%)
Carbon (C)≤ 0.08≤ 0.03
Crôm (Cr)18.0-20.018.0-20.0
Niken (Ni)8.0-10.58.0-12.0
Manganse (Mn)≤ 2.0≤ 2.0
Silicon (Si)≤ 0.75≤ 0.75
Phốt pho (P)≤ 0.045≤ 0.045
Lưu huỳnh (S)≤ 0.03≤ 0.03
Nitrogen (N)≤ 0.10≤ 0.10

The primary difference between 304 and 304L is the lower carbon content in 304L, which provides better weldability and reduces the risk of intergranular corrosion.

Special Steel 304/304L

Mechanical Properties of Special Steel 304/304L

The mechanical properties of stainless steel determine its suitability for various applications. Here’s a detailed comparison of the mechanical characteristics of 304 and 304L stainless steel:

Tensile Strength (MPa)515-620485-620
Yield Strength (MPa)205170
Elongation at Break (%)4040
Hardness (Brinell)≤ 201≤ 201
Hardness (Rockwell B)≤ 92≤ 92
Modulus of Elasticity (GPa)193-200193-200

304L’s lower yield strength is compensated by its superior weldability, making it ideal for applications involving extensive welding.

Applications of Special Steel 304/304L

Stainless steel 304 and 304L are used across various industries due to their versatility and performance. Here’s a list of common applications:

Application AreaExamples
Food & Beverage IndustryEquipment, storage tanks, processing plants
Chemical IndustryReactors, pipes, tanks, and heat exchangers
Medical IndustrySurgical instruments, implantable devices
Construction IndustryArchitectural paneling, railings, and fittings
Công nghiệp ô tôExhaust systems, trims, and decorative parts
Marine IndustryBoat fittings, shafts, and propellers

Heat Treatment of Special Steel 304/304L

Heat treatment is essential for altering the properties of steel to suit specific applications. Here’s an overview of the heat treatment processes for 304 and 304L:

Heat Treatment Process304304L
Ủi nhiệt1010-1120°C, air cool1010-1120°C, air cool
Stress Relieving450-600°C, air cool450-600°C, air cool
Solution Treatment1065-1120°C, rapid cool1065-1120°C, rapid cool

Annealing enhances ductility and relieves internal stresses, while stress relieving minimizes warping during machining.

Suppliers and Pricing Details for Special Steel 304/304L

Finding reliable suppliers and understanding the pricing is critical for procurement. Here’s a list of suppliers and indicative pricing:

Nhà cung cấpLocationPhạm vi giá (theo kg)
ThyssenKruppGlobal$3.00 – $4.50
OutokumpuGlobal$3.10 – $4.60
AcerinoxGlobal$2.90 – $4.40
Jindal StainlessIndia$2.80 – $4.30
AperamGlobal$3.20 – $4.70

Prices vary based on market conditions, quantities, and specific requirements.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Special Steel 304/304L

Every material has its pros and cons. Let’s compare the advantages and disadvantages of 304 and 304L:

Khả năng chống ăn mònTuyệt vờiSlightly better in certain conditions
Khả năng hànTốtSuperior due to lower carbon content
Sức mạnhHigher yield and tensile strengthSlightly lower yield strength but similar tensile strength
Chi phíTrung bìnhSimilar to 304, occasionally slightly higher
Khả năng gia côngGood, but work hardens quicklySimilar to 304, benefits from lower carbon content

304L’s improved weldability and reduced risk of intergranular corrosion make it preferable for welded structures.

Special Steel 34CrNiMo6/1.6582

Câu hỏi thường gặp

What is the main difference between 304 and 304L?The main difference is the carbon content; 304L has a lower carbon content, making it better for welding applications.
Can 304 and 304L be used interchangeably?Generally, yes, but 304L is preferred for welding due to its lower carbon content.
How does the price of 304/304L compare to other stainless steels?304/304L are moderately priced, typically more affordable than higher alloyed grades like 316.
What are the common forms of 304/304L available?Sheets, plates, bars, pipes, and tubes are common forms available in the market.
Is 304L always better than 304?Not necessarily; it depends on the application. 304L is better for welding, but 304 might be preferable in applications requiring higher strength.


Special Steel 304 and 304L are incredibly versatile and widely used across various industries due to their excellent properties. Understanding their chemical composition, mechanical properties, applications, and other critical factors can help in making informed decisions. Whether you’re choosing materials for construction, food processing, or any other industry, 304 and 304L stainless steels offer reliable performance with their unique advantages.

Remember, selecting the right material goes beyond just understanding its properties—it involves considering the specific needs of your application, the environment in which it will be used, and the economic factors involved. With this comprehensive guide, you’re now better equipped to make that decision. Happy material selecting!

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