904L vs. 316 Stainless Steel

Grades 904L and 316 stainless steel are used in myriad applications. The two grades of steel feature several similarities. However, when being used in specific applications, their differences are the deciding factors. Their chemical differences ascertain their specific mechanical and other capabilities. These are explored in this blog post.

Consideration Factors (904L vs. 316 Stainless Steel)

Below are some practical points that can be taken into consideration when deciding between 904L and 316:

  1. Corrosion Resistance: Grade 904L offers better pitting corrosion resistance as compared to 316 stainless steel. The 904L steel also offers better resistance to cracking from chloride stress corrosion.
  1. Welding:Common methods can be employed when welding 904L stainless steel. To ensure that the weld can handle the same environmental conditions as the rest of the application made from 904L steel, the filler material should be highly alloyed. Using such a filler will allow the weld to be resistant to corrosion as well. Similarly, 316 stainless steel can be welded using most welding procedures. However, oxyacetylene welding should be avoided.
  1. Applications: Grade 904L stainless steel is used in industries like oil and gas, and pharmaceuticals. Type 316 stainless steel is used in aerospace, auto, chemical, and construction industries. Both 904L and 316 are used to construct manifolds, heat exchangers, and valves among other products.

 The grade of steel used for your application depends on the local climate of that area. Moreover, during normal functioning, the application will be exposed to certain conditions like heat, moisture, chemicals, physical duress, etc. All these factors should be kept in mind when deciding on the steel grade. Your stainless steel manufacturer will be able to give you an insight into the properties of the metal that can be applied to your applications and processes.