Physical Properties of Stainless Steel

Two corrosion-resistant stainless steel alloys, Type 304 and Type 316, are ideally suited for a variety of applications.

Type 304 is commonly used for chemical processing equipment, for food, dairy, and beverage industries, for heat exchangers, and for the milder chemicals.

Type 316 contains molybdenum to control pit type attack so it is slightly more corrosion-resistant than Type 304 stainless steel. Type 316 is ideal for chemical and pulp handling equipment, for photographic equipment, food and beverage processing and for dispensing equipment and equipment that will be exposed to salt water.

Type 316L is an extra-low carbon modification of Type 316 stainless steel used when applications are welded.

Fabrication methods also influence the quality and durability of stainless steel products.The argon shield in helioarc welding prevents oxidation and ensures a cleaner, stronger weld.

The following table indicates the typical components of stainless steel.

Components
Type 304
Type 316
Type 316L
Chromium
18-20%
16-18%
16-18%
Nickel
8-10.5%
10-14%
10-14%
Carbon
0.08%
0.08%
0.03%
Manganese
2%
2%
2%
Silicon
1%
1%
1%
Manganese
2-3%
2-3%