Stainless Steel

Stainless Steel 304 V/S 316- Everything You Need To Know

Stainless Steel 304 vs Stainless Steel 316

Stainless steel 304 and 316 are two of the most popular grades of stainless steel. While both are excellent choices for a wide range of applications, It’s hard to notice the difference between Stainless Steel 304 V/S 316. They differ in terms of their composition and their properties.
Stainless steel 304 is a low-carbon stainless steel that contains 18% chromium and 8% nickel. It is resistant to corrosion and oxidation and has good formability and weldability. It’s generally used in kitchen appliances, food processing equipment, and architectural paneling.
On the other hand, Stainless steel 316 contains 16% chromium, 10% nickel, and 2% molybdenum. The addition of molybdenum makes it more resistant to corrosion in saline environments, similar to coastal regions or areas with exposure to saltwater. This makes it a great choice for marine operations, as well as in chemical and medicinal industries.

Types of Stainless Steel

The two most common types of stainless steel are:

  • SS 304
  • SS 316

The 304 and 316 Stainless steel are frequently used in the surgical or medical industry because they’re of very high-quality grade. The main difference between 304 V/S 316 Stainless Steel grade is that 316 stainless steel has molybdenum added to it, which makes it more resistant to rust and damage, especially in places where there is a lot of salt or chlorine. 316 stainless steel contains molybdenum, but 304 does not. Both of these 300-grade steel are known for their excellent welding and forming qualities, which give them operations across numerous diligence. These alloys can never be hardened by heat treatment, but they can develop high strength by cold working.
When it comes to the industries like medicine, power generation, and chemical industries. The stainless steel 304 is the first choice. Molybdenum is substantially used for adding corrosion resistance in 316, making it ideal for acidic surroundings. Certain critical petroleum, chemical process, and marine operations with sharp chloride gas bear the bettered pitting and crack corrosion resistance of 316 molybdenum-modified stainless steel.

What is 304 Stainless Steel?

304 stainless steel is the very common stainless steel used in the world. Because of its excellent corrosion resistance value. It contains 16-24% chromium and up to 35% nickel and carbon and magnesium in small amounts.
The most popular type of 304 stainless steel is often referred to as 18-8 or 18/8 stainless steel. This is because it is made up of 18% chromium and 8% nickel. 304 stainless steel is very resistant to rust caused by many acidic substances. This makes it a popular choice for use in kitchens and in the food industry since it’s easy to clean and sanitize.
It’s also generally used in structures, decoration, and outdoor cabinetwork. Still, there’s one thing that 304 stainless steel isn’t very good at handling, which is corrosion caused by chloride results or salty surroundings like those set up near the ocean. When chloride ions come into contact with 304 stainless steel, they can produce small areas of rust called” bending” that can spread and damage the substance. Indeed results with just a small amount of sodium chloride in them can start to affect this kind of erosion.

Uses of 304 stainless steel

The most familiar uses of type 304 stainless steel are:

  • Making Kitchen sinks and consumer durables.
  • Manufacturing of chemical containers also including for transport.
  • Food processing equipment, particularly in beer brewing, milk processing, and winemaking.
  • Manufacturing of Fasteners and flanges.
  • Manufacturing of automotive and aerospace components.

What is 316 Stainless Steel?

316 grade is the second-most common form of stainless steel. It is as similar as the 304 stainless steel and has almost the same physical and mechanical properties and contains a similar type of material. The main difference is that 316 stainless steel contains about 2 to 3 percent molybdenum. This addition of molybdenum increases corrosion resistance, against salty and coastal region areas.
316 stainless steel is very durable in nature, clean, easy to fabricate, weld, and finish. It is more resistant to solutions of bromides, chlorides, sulfuric acid, and fatty acids at high temperatures.
The 300 series types of steel can have up to 7% molybdenum in them. This makes them more resistant to damage from chloride, but this level of protection is only needed in strong chemical environments that are found in industries or high-concentration areas.

Uses of 316 Stainless Steel

The most familiar uses of type 316 stainless steel are:

  • Construction of exhaust manifolds and furnace parts.
  • Manufacturing of heat exchangers.
  • Making of jet engine parts and evaporators.
  • Chemical processing equipment.
  • Pharmaceutical and photographic equipment.
  • Textile processing equipment.
  • Produce parts that are exposed to marine environments.


304 V/S 316 stainless steel are two common metal types used in various industries. 304 stainless steel is the most popular due to its excellent corrosion resistance, making it ideal for use in kitchens, food processing equipment, and automotive parts. However, it’s not suitable for environments with chloride or salty surroundings. On the other hand, 316 stainless steel metal steel has similar properties to 304 but contains 2-3% molybdenum, making it more resistant to corrosion in coastal areas or chemical environments. It’s used in heat exchangers, chemical processing equipment, and marine parts. Overall, both metals have their unique properties, making them suitable for different applications.