Type 304 Stainless Steel is the most widely used of the austenitic (chromium/nickel) stainless steels. In the annealed condition it is essentially non-magnetic and becomes slightly magnetic with the application of cold work.
Type 304L Stainless Steel is preferred in welding applications to exclude the formation of chromium carbides during cooling in the heat affected region of the weld. These alloys represent an excellent combination of corrosion resistance and fabricability.
Type 304 – ASTM A240, ASTM A666, AMS 5513 Type 304L – ASTM A240, ASTM A666, AMS 5511
Chemical equipment and piping, heat exchanger components, dairy and food handling equipment and utensils, cryogenic vessels and components, architectural and structural applications exposed to non-marine atmospheres
CHEMICAL COMPOSITION: (PER ASTM A240)
17.5 to 19.5
18.0 to 20.0
8.0 to 10.5
8.0 to 12.0
MECHANICAL PROPERTIES: (PER ASTM A240, A666)
Yield Strength 0.2% offset (KSI)
Tensile Strength (KSI)
(2″ Gauge length)
304 ¼ Hard
304 ½ Hard
304L ¼ Hard
304L ½ Hard
PHYSICAL PROPERTIES: (ANNEALED)
304 & 304L
Density (lb./ in^2) @ RT
Modulus of Elasticity in Tension (psi x 10^6)
Specific Heat (BTU/o F/lb.)
32 to 212 oF
Thermal Conductivity (BTU/hr/ft^2/ft)
Mean Coefficient of Thermal Expansion
(in. x 10^-6 per o F)
32 to 212oF
32 to 600oF
32 to 1,000oF
32 to 1,200oF
Electrical Resistivity (micro ohms – cm)
Melting Point Range (oF)
2550 to 2650
Oxidation Resistance – Continuous Service(oF)
Oxidation Resistance – Intermittent Service(oF)
Types 304 and 304L cannot be hardened by thermal treatment. Annealing: Heat to 1850o F to 2050 o F and cool at sufficiently high rates through 1500oF to 800oF to avoid precipitation of chromium carbides. Stress Relief Annealing: Cold worked parts should be stress relieved at 750oF for ½ to 2 hours.
Annealed Types 304 and 304L can be fabricated by roll forming, deep drawing, bending and most other fabrication techniques. Due to the high work hardening rate of these materials, intermediate anneals maybe required to successfully fabricate the part.
Types 304 and 304L are weldable by most fusion or resistance welding techniques. If filler metal is required, Type 308 is normally used. Type 304L should be used in heavier sections to reduce the occurrence of carbide precipitation in the heat affected region adjacent to the weld pool
Types 304 and 304L provides corrosion resistance in a wide range of moderately oxidizing and reducing conditions, fresh water and non-marine applications.