SAE 304 stainless steel

If you’re looking for quality stainless steel which is durable, weldable and can be bought at every DIY store which also fits your budget then you may be interested in SAE 304 Stainless Steel. Before getting into the technical parts, let’s make sure that you, the reader, know the basics about what 304 Stainless Steel is.

What is SAE 304 Stainless Steel?

AISI 304 Stainless Steel is a material that is used in the construction of many appliances, such as sinks. 304 Stainless Steel is the most common Stainless Steel you can find and is widely used in tons of different products and appliances. If you live outside the USA, you may know 304 Stainless Steel as A2 Stainless Steel, however, for this article, we will be referring to it as 304 Stainless Steel. Now we’ve got the basics out the way, let’s get into the more complicated bits, such as what its made from, its heat resistance and corrosion resistance capabilities and much more.  

304 Stainless Steel Hot Working

Stainless Steel has amazing resistance to oxidation and heat with it being able to survive temperatures of up to 870 degrees Celcius to 925 degrees Celcius. However, use at these temperatures isn’t recommended especially if water is involved in which the corrosion resistance would not be able to put up with the heat.

304 Stainless Steel Cold Working

In order to make the heat resistance of the 304 Stainless Steel able to withstand such high temperatures the stainless steel has had to go under extensive amounts of cold working, Cold working techniques are used to resize the metal to new sizes or thickness which ultimately helps increase the heat resistance capabilities of the 304 Stainless Steel. Of course, Cold Resistance is not really needed as most stainless steels can withstand arctic temperatures.

Machinability of 304 Stainless Steel

304 Stainless Steel is known for its low-cost being easily weldable which makes 304 Stainless Steel a good candidate to be turned into a variety of machine parts, such as screws. automotive components and bolts and nuts. The 304 Stainless Steel has a machining cost factor of 5.0, which when compared to other steels is quite good considering all the positive and useful traits 304 Stainless Steel has over other metals and alloys.

Heat Treatment of 304 Stainless Steel

The 304 Stainless Steel can not be hardened using Heat Treatment, however, it can be hardened by heating up the 304 Stainless Steel up to 1010 to 1120 degrees Celcius and then rapidly cooling it before returning it to usual temperature.

Weldability of 304 Stainless Steel

The 304 Stainless Steel can, of course, be welded. However, the way it is welded can be different from the way other metals and alloys are welded and not knowing how 304 Stainless Steel is welded can lead to imperfections or cracking of the steel. Even though they are readily welded, most people and companies usually use a type 308 Stainless Steel as a filler material while welding the 304 Stainless Steel which should hopefully avoid HAZ Cracking.

304 Stainless Steel can be welded using any arc welding processes like MIG, MMA, SA and TIG. Overall, the 304 Stainless Steel can be effortlessly welded as long as you know what precautions to do before you begin welding it.

What is SAE 304 Stainless Steel made from?

First of all, let’s see what goes into the most common Stainless Steel around. SAE 304 Stainless Steel contains chromium (which is between 15% and 20%) as well as nickel which is between 2% and 10.5%. The leftover percentage is made from Iron.

SAE 304 Stainless Steel’s Corrosion Resistance

In general, the Aisi 304 Stainless Steel has excellent Corrosion Resistance capabilities in all types of atmospheric environments as well as corrosive media, however, the SAE 304 Stainless Steel is vulnerable to corrosion from a couple of things, including:

Pitting and Crevice corrosion in hot chloride environments
It will begin to crack at 60 degrees Celcius or above
At room temperature SAE 304 Stainless Steel is also vulnerable to thiosulfate anions
Sulfur-rich clay materials subjected to oxygenation can also damage 304 Stainless Steel

The 304 Stainless Steel has an excellent water corrosion resistance of up to 400mg/l of chlorides at room temperature and up to 150mg/l when at 60 degrees Celcius. All in all SAE 304 Stainless Steel has near-perfect Corrosion Resistance if used in a regular household, however, if the 304 Stainless Steel can’t handle Corrosive substances within your kitchen you can then go to the 316 lines of Stainless Steel.

Other facts about 304 Stainless Steel

Here we will have a short bullet-pointed list of other properties and facts about 304 Stainless Steel which didn’t fit into any of our categories.

  • 304 Stainless Steel is non-magnetic
  • 304 Stainless Steel is a popular alloy
  • 304 Stainless Steel is commonly welded

What is 304 Stainless Steel used for?

Now you know all of the properties about 304 Stainless Steel let’s educate you on what 304 Stainless Steel is used in, and to your surprise, this stainless steel is present in practically every house.

Here is a bullet-pointed list which runs through everything 304 Stainless Steel can be used for

  • Bolts
  • Screws
  • Refrigerators
  • Food processing equipment
  • Cutlery
  • Piping
  • Fasteners
  • Dishwashers
  • Sinks
  • Kitchen Appliances

From this short list which probably doesn’t even scratch the surface of the thousands of things that 304 Stainless Steel is used for you will most likely see why 304 Stainless Steel is such a popular metal. It is cheap, weldable, extremely durable and is trusted and used in practically everything that involves metal.


In the end, we hope that this article has provided you with all the information you needed to know about 304 Stainless Steel, whether you came here because you wanted to know what the properties and melting points of 304 Stainless Steel were before you used it in a DIY project, or if you are designing a new type of refrigerator which utilises 304 stainless steel or if you were just curious.

Ambica is leading manufacturers of 304 Stainless steel products. Please check our product range

304/304L Round Bars 

304/304L Hex Bars 

304/304L Flat Bars 

304/304L Square Bars 

We hope you enjoyed this informative article and we hope to see you soon. Bye!