304 Stainless Steel

Uncategorised / Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

Grade 304 stainless steel (also known as type 1.4301) is the most versatile and widely used stainless steel. It is still occasionally referred to as 18/8, its old name, derived from the nominal composition of type 304 being 18% chromium, 8% nickel). Used for a wide variety of home and commercial applications, it is one of the most familiar and most frequently used alloys in the stainless steel family.

304 has strong forming and welding characteristics, excellent corrosion and oxidation resistance (owing to its chromium content) and incredible toughness, even down to cryogenic temperatures. It is also known as being easy to clean, easy to fabricate and can be severely deep drawn. This property has resulted in 304 being the dominant grade used in applications like sinks and saucepans. It is also used in cutlery and flatware, pharmaceutical equipment, architectural panelling (its known for its beauty!) as well as wine making, brewery, food processing and dairy equipment (it has an ability to withstand the corrosive action of various acids found in fruits, meats, milk, and vegetables).

Here at Metal Supplies™ we stock 304 stainless steel in the following forms (amongst others. Call for details):



Bar (Round, Flat, Square, Tee)




Box Section


You will also find Grade 304 stainless used in springs, nuts, bolts, screws and springs, including those for marine environments, thanks to it’s great corrosion resistant properties.

Chemical Composition

Chemical Element

% Present

Carbon (C)

0.0 – 0.07

Chromium (Cr)

17.50 – 19.50

Manganese (Mn)

0.0 – 2.00

Silicon (Si)

0.0 – 1.00

Phosphorous (P)

0.0 – 0.05

Sulphur (S)

0.0 – 0.02

Nickel (Ni)

8.00 – 10.50

Iron (Fe)



Physical Property



8.00 g/cm³

Melting Point

1450 °C

Thermal Expansion

17.2 x10^-6 /K

Modulus of Elasticity

193 GPa

Thermal Conductivity

16.2 W/m.K

Electrical Resistivity

0.072 x10^-6 O .m

Mechanical Property


Proof Stress

210 Min MPa

Tensile Strength

520 to 720 MPa

Elongation A50 mm

45 Min %

Compressive Strength

210 MPa


Stainless Steel Grade 304 / 1.4301 also corresponds to the following alloy designations but may not be a direct equivalent: