Stainless Steel

Comparison Between Stainless Steel Types 304 and 316

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel contains low carbon and about 10 percent chromium, which makes it more resistant to corrosion and shiny on the surface. It has a wide range of applications, from the fabrication of chemical equipment, to food equipment and in architectural applications. The chromium that is added makes it possible for the metal to form a hard, adherent chromium oxide film that resists corrosion. In case the metal develops a scratch, the film will react with oxygen and self-heal. This explains why 316 stainless steel tube is used in adverse applications, and they remain functional for many years.

Both 304 and 316 stainless steel tube have a solid structure, are easy to work with, and corrosion-resistant. These properties make them suitable for outdoor landscaping and architectural uses. The main advantages of stainless steel include durability, the ability to remain attractive, and low maintenance, among others as outlined below.

  • High resistance to corrosion
  • Resistance to heat and fire
  • Hygienic to use
  • Maintains aesthetic appearance
  • It is strong but not heavy
  • Easy to fabricate
  • Resistance to impact
  • It is durable

Austenitic 304 and 316

Austenitic stainless steel is made up of either chromium and nickel or chromium and manganese. The carbon quantities are maintained at low levels of 0.08 percent as a maximum, while the chromium content is between 16 and 28 percent. Nickel, on the other hand, has to be between 3.5 and 32 percent.

These two types of stainless steel cannot be hardened by exposing them to heat, but high strength can be achieved by a process known as cold working. Compared to the other variations, they are more malleable, and they have high elasticity and high levels of strength. Because of these properties, they are used to manufacture drainage pipes, grates, floor sinks, and trench drains, among others.

Difference between Type 304 and Type 316

By observing these two types of metals physically, you will not be able to pick any differences. Their unique differences can be deduced from the chemical composition. A look at them separately will bring out their distinctive characteristics.

Type 304

This type of stainless steel is the most commonly used. It is made up of between 16 and 25 percent chromium and 36 percent nickel. It also has essential traces of carbon and manganese. The most common chemical combination is known as 18/8. This is because it contains 18 percent chromium and eight percent nickel. This amount of chromium content makes the metal more resistant to corrosion and oxidation. In its element, type 304 steel is malleable, versatile, and very durable. When used in delicate places such as in a meat processing plant, it inhibits the growth of bacteria, making it healthier.

Type 316

This steel type is also referred to as marine grade stainless steel and resembles the Type 304 in many ways. The only difference is that it contains a molybdenum content of between two and three percent. This molybdenum improves the resistance to corrosion further, making the metal suitable for use in places with salty water, hence the name marine grade. It is also used in extremely acidic environments. Coastal areas have salty particles in the air, and in such places, highly resistant metals such as Type 316 are used because they will not need to be replaced from time to time.


The Application of 4130 Tubing in the Industrial World Today


Steel has been considered as one of the oldest materials dating back to centuries in construction and manufacturing. 4130 alloy steel is a type of steel that responds better to heating treatment compared to other types of steel. It is, in fact, the most preferred metal to use for the manufacture of leading gears for aircraft including other applications in the metal industry. The strength of this steel can be amplified through heat treatment making it ideal for machining procedures like annealing and even normalizing. Before you buy 4130 tubing, check out below more amazing uses and applications of 4130 alloy steel in different facets of the economy today before you.

Constituents of 4130 Alloy Steel

There are a lot of elements that come together to form this form of steel. The list includes the main constituents which are chromium besides molybdenum in addition to other supplements that aid in the completion of metal — for instance phosphorus, sulfur, carbon, and silicon. Both molybdenum and chromium do contain alloy properties which are why they do make perfect material for the construction of the structural parts of an airplane. Understand these properties well before you set out to buy 4130 tubing from the market today.

The Reaction of Steel with Other Properties Due To Chromium and Molybdenum


Chromium improves the material’s resistance to corrosion. This makes the metal long-lasting and you ultimately get value for your money. Chromium is also associated with improving the hardenability of the entire skill thus making the material it is used to build stronger too. Chromium as a component improves the quality of steel especially when the steel is under heat treatment at high temperatures.


When this material is subjected to high heat for an elongated period, it slowly goes through a deformation process called creep. The level of creep on steel determines its actual strength. Molybdenum also amplifies the hardness of the final product. Your alloyed steel will, therefore, be stronger than you thought with the addition of this element.

Uses and Applications of 4130 Alloy

4130 has many industrial uses we know of today and below are just a few that you need to know about.

  • Used in the manufacture of roller bearings and even balls for different machines
  • Perfect for rock crushing automotive parts or machinery.
  • Widely preferred for resistance welding in most industries.
  • Can be used to make cutter tools like drills, milling cutters, and taps

In Conclusion

4130 alloy is widely recognized across the globe for their strength after undergoing heat treatment. You should, however, confirm with your supplier on the types and uses of different metals to improve the efficiency of your project by using the right materials.