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The Difference Between 304 And 304L Stainless Steel

May 24 2023

What is the difference between 304 and 304L stainless steel? In the minds of many of us, it is natural for us to "substitute high-quality materials with low-density materials and replace thinner materials with thickness". There is no need for multiple pipes. In fact, this view is wrong. Ronsco uses 304 stainless steel and 304L stainless steel as examples. Note: Generally speaking, 304L has a lower carbon content and better corrosion resistance than 304, so it can be used instead of 304. Specifically, let's take a look at the main difference?

1. different price of 304 and 304L :

The price of 304L stainless steel is generally higher than that of 304 stainless steel. Taking the ex-factory price of Taiyuan Iron and Steel as an example, the ex-factory price of 304L stainless steel of Taiyuan Iron and Steel is 500 yuan higher than the price of 304 per ton. So first of all, if you use 304L instead of 304, the cost will increase.

2. Different chemical composition of 304 and 304L :

chemical composition difference of 304 and 304L
Steel Grade C Mn P S Si Cr Ni N
304 0.08 2 0.045 0.03 0.75 18.00-20.00 8.00-10.50 0.1
304L 0.03 2 0.045 0.03 0.75 18.00-20.00 8.00-12.00 0.1
304H O.04-0.10 2 O.045 0.03 0.75 18.00-20.00 8.00-10.50
Note: If the range is not specified, it is less than or equal to.

The most basic is that the carbon content of 304L stainless steel is less than 0.03; and the carbon content of 304 is less than 0.08.

3. Different mechanical properties of of 304 and 304L:

Comparison of mechanical properties of 304 and 304L
Steel Grade Tensile strength Yield strength Elongation Hardness
Cold bending
(MPa) (MPa) % Brinell Rockwell
304 ≥515 ≥205 ≥40 ≥201 ≥92 Not required
304L ≥485 ≥170 ≥40 ≥201 ≥92 Not required
304H ≥515 ≥205 ≥40 ≥201 ≥92 Not required

304L is a steel grade obtained by reducing the carbon content of 304 to less than 0.03%. Its general characteristics are almost the same as 304, but 304L stainless steel can inhibit the sensitization caused by the precipitation of chromium carbide between 500 and 900oC. , Improve the sensitivity of intergranular corrosion caused by welding, etc., so it is suitable for large-scale welding structure materials and pipe fittings that need to be used directly after welding.

The biggest feature of 304L stainless steel is to improve the susceptibility to intergranular corrosion and reduce the carbon content to the welded part without causing practical heat sensitization problems.

4. Different uses of 304 and 304L stainless steel:

As a widely used steel, 304 stainless steel has good corrosion resistance, heat resistance, low temperature strength and mechanical properties; it has good hot workability such as stamping and bending, and no heat treatment hardening phenomenon (non-magnetic, use Wenling-196 ℃~800℃). Household products (category 1, 2 tableware, cabinets, indoor pipelines, water heaters, boilers, bathtubs), auto parts (windshield wipers, mufflers, molded products), medical appliances, building materials, chemicals, food industry, agriculture, and ship parts.

304L stainless steel is a low-C 304 steel. Under normal conditions, its corrosion resistance is similar to that of 304 steel, but after welding or stress relief, its resistance to intergranular corrosion is excellent; it can also be used without heat treatment. Maintain good corrosion resistance, use temperature -196℃~800℃.

It is applied to the outdoor machines in the chemical, coal, and petroleum industries that require high grain boundary corrosion resistance, heat-resistant parts of building materials, and parts that have difficulty in heat treatment





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