What is the difference between 304 and 430

Understanding the Differences Between Stainless Steel Grades: 430 vs 304

What is the difference between 304 and 430

Stainless steel, renowned for its versatility and durability, offers a plethora of grades tailored to specific applications. Among these, two predominant grades stand out: the ferritic grade 430 (1.4016) and the austenitic 304 (1.4301). Despite their similar appearance, they exhibit distinct characteristics that set them apart.

1. Cost

The cost of stainless steel hinges largely on the price fluctuations of individual alloying elements, which vary daily on the global market. Notably, grade 304 commands a higher price than 430 due to its chemical composition. While 304 contains 8 – 10.5% nickel, enhancing its corrosion resistance, 430 lacks nickel entirely. The inclusion of nickel in 304 contributes to its elevated cost, emphasizing one of the primary distinctions between the two grades.

2. Magnetism

Although 304 is an austenitic grade, it can exhibit magnetic properties post-cold working. This phenomenon is particularly evident along the cut edge of austenitic grades. Conversely, 430, being a ferritic grade, displays strong magnetism. It's crucial to note that while magnetism serves as a distinguishing factor, not all magnetic grades correspond to 430, nor are all non-magnetic grades synonymous with 304.

3. Chemical Composition

A comprehensive understanding of the chemical composition further elucidates the disparities between 430 and 304:

GradeCarbon (C)Silicon (Si)Manganese (Mn)Phosphorus (P)Sulfur (S)Nitrogen (N)Chromium (Cr)Nickel (Ni)
3040.071.002.000.0450.0150.1017.5 - 19.58.0 - 10.5
4300.081.001.000.0400.015-16.0 - 18.0-

4. Corrosion Resistance

While stainless steel as a whole exhibits corrosion resistance, variations exist among grades. The presence of nickel in 304 renders it significantly more corrosion resistant than 430. However, this enhanced corrosion resistance comes at a higher cost. In scenarios where cost outweighs longevity considerations, 430 may emerge as the more viable option.

5. Pressing / Drawing

Apart from bolstering corrosion resistance, nickel in 304 facilitates ease of pressing and drawing. Conversely, the absence of nickel in 430 renders it susceptible to cracking or failure under similar conditions, highlighting another critical divergence between the two grades.

In conclusion, comprehending the nuanced distinctions between stainless steel grades 430 and 304 is pivotal in selecting the optimal material for specific applications, balancing factors such as cost, corrosion resistance, and mechanical properties.


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