Stainless Steel 304 1.4301

Stainless Steel 304 1.4301

Steel Friend has been a pioneer in the realm of stainless steel manufacturing, particularly renowned for its stainless steel 304 and stainless steel 304L variants, also known by their respective designations 1.4301 and 1.4307. These alloys, often referred to as Type 304 and Type 304L, are highly versatile and find widespread applications across various industries.

Stainless Steel 304 (1.4301)

Type 304 stainless steel stands out for its exceptional versatility and corrosion resistance properties. The nomenclature "18/8" reflects its composition of 18% chromium and 8% nickel, underlining its corrosion-resistant nature. It's primarily an austenitic grade, known for its ability to be severely deep drawn, making it a preferred choice for products like sinks and saucepans.

Stainless Steel 304L (1.4307)

Type 304L is the low carbon version of 304, specifically designed to improve weldability. This variant finds extensive use in heavy gauge components where welding is a critical aspect. Notably, some products are available as "dual certified," meeting the criteria for both 304 and 304L, offering flexibility in applications.

Stainless Steel 304H

For applications requiring high-temperature resistance, Steel Friend offers Type 304H, characterized by its high carbon content. This variant retains aqueous corrosion resistance, making it suitable for elevated temperature environments.


The applications of stainless steel 304 and 304L span across diverse industries, including:

  • Saucepans: Due to their corrosion resistance and formability, stainless steel 304 and 304L are ideal for saucepan manufacturing.
  • Springs, Screws, Nuts & Bolts: Their mechanical properties make them suitable for various fastening applications.
  • Sinks & Splashbacks: The corrosion resistance of these alloys makes them perfect for kitchen utilities.
  • Architectural Panelling: Stainless steel finds extensive use in architectural designs due to its aesthetic appeal and durability.
  • Tubing: Used in various industries for fluid and gas transportation.
  • Brewery, Food, Dairy, and Pharmaceutical Production Equipment: Stainless steel's hygienic properties make it indispensable in industries with strict hygiene standards.
  • Sanitary Ware and Troughs: The corrosion resistance and ease of cleaning make stainless steel a preferred choice in sanitary applications.

Supplied Forms

Steel Friend's Diverse Offerings of Stainless Steel 304 and 304L

Steel Friend understands the diverse manufacturing requirements across industries and offers stainless steel 304 and 304L in a variety of forms to accommodate these needs. Below is a table outlining the different forms available:

SheetThin, flat steel material
StripNarrow, long steel material
BarSolid, long steel material, often cylindrical
PlateThick, flat steel material
PipeHollow cylindrical steel material for conveying fluids or gases
TubeHollow cylindrical steel material for various applications
CoilContinuous length of steel wound into a coil
FittingsComponents used to connect or control the flow of stainless steel pipes or tubes

This wide array of forms ensures that manufacturers have the flexibility to choose the most suitable option based on their specific manufacturing processes and end-use requirements. Whether it's for constructing structural components, fabricating machinery parts, or crafting intricate designs, Steel Friend's offerings of stainless steel 304 and 304L cater to diverse applications across industries with precision and reliability.

Alloy Designations

Stainless steel grades 1.4301/304 correspond to various designations such as S30400, 304S15, 304S16, 304S31, and EN58E, offering compatibility with international standards.

Corrosion Resistance

Both stainless steel 304 and 304L exhibit excellent corrosion resistance in most environments. However, they may be susceptible to pitting and crevice corrosion in chloride-rich environments. Stress corrosion cracking can occur at temperatures exceeding 60°C.

Heat Resistance

Stainless steel 304 demonstrates good oxidation resistance in intermittent service up to 870°C and continuous service up to 925°C. However, prolonged exposure between 425-860°C is not recommended. In such cases, 304L is preferred due to its resistance to carbide precipitation. For applications requiring high strength at elevated temperatures (up to 800°C), grade 304H is recommended.


Fabrication of stainless steel requires dedicated tools and equipment to avoid contamination. Cross-contamination with easily corroded metals can compromise the surface integrity of the fabricated product. Cold working of stainless steel 304 may necessitate intermediate annealing stages to alleviate work hardening.

Cold Working

304 stainless steel readily work hardens during fabrication processes involving cold working. To prevent tearing or cracking, intermediate annealing stages may be required. Full annealing post-fabrication reduces internal stresses and optimizes corrosion resistance.

Hot Working

Hot working methods like forging should occur after uniform heating to temperatures between 1149-1260°C, followed by rapid cooling to enhance corrosion resistance.


Stainless steel 304 exhibits good machinability, but certain precautions should be taken to optimize the machining process. Cutting edges must be sharp to prevent excess work hardening, and chip breakers should be employed to clear swarf effectively. The low thermal conductivity of austenitic alloys necessitates the use of coolants and lubricants during machining.

Heat Treatment

Unlike some other stainless steel grades, 304 cannot be hardened by heat treatment. Solution treatment or annealing involves rapid cooling after heating to temperatures between 1010-1120°C.


The fusion welding performance of stainless steel 304 is excellent, both with and without fillers. Grade 308 stainless steel is recommended as a filler rod for 304, while grade 308L is suitable for 304L. Post-weld annealing may be necessary for heavy welded sections, but it's not required for 304L. Grade 321 filler may be used if post-weld heat treatment is not feasible.

Chemical Composition

The chemical composition of stainless steel 304 is crucial in determining its properties:

  • Carbon (C): 0.07%
  • Chromium (Cr): 17.50 - 19.50%
  • Manganese (Mn): 2.00%
  • Silicon (Si): 1.00%
  • Phosphorous (P): 0.045%
  • Sulphur (S): 0.015%
  • Nickel (Ni): 8.00 - 10.50%
  • Nitrogen (N): 0.10%
  • Iron (Fe): Balance

Mechanical Properties

  • Comprehensive Strength: 210 MPa
  • Proof Stress: 210 Min MPa
  • Tensile Strength: 520 - 720 MPa
  • Elongation: 45 Min%

Physical Properties

  • Density: 8,000 Kg/m3
  • Melting Point: 1450°C
  • Thermal Expansion: 17.2 x 10-6 /K
  • Modulus of Elasticity: 193 GPa
  • Thermal Conductivity: 16.2W/m.K
  • Electrical Resistivity: 0.072 x 10-6 Ω.m

Editorial Information

The information provided in this data sheet serves as a descriptive guide and does not constitute a warranty for the properties or usability of the materials. It is based on the manufacturer's and Steel Friend's own experiences, and they cannot guarantee the results of processing and application of the products.


Steel Friend's stainless steel 304 and 304L alloys stand as epitomes of reliability, versatility, and durability in the realm of stainless steel manufacturing. With exceptional corrosion resistance, heat resistance, and fabrication properties, these alloys continue to be indispensable across a myriad of industries, setting benchmarks

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