304 Stainless Steel UNS S30400

Stainless steel 304 is an austenitic grade of stainless steel that contains high nickel content, typically somewhere between 8 and 10.5 percent by weight and a high amount of chromium that comprises approximately 18 to 20 percent by weight.

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304 Stainless Strip, Coil, Foil & Wire, AMS 5513, AMS 5910 (1/4H), AMS 5911 (1/2H), AMS 5912 (3/4H), AMS 5913 (FH), AMS 5501 (1/4H), ASTM A666

What is 304 Stainless Steel Strip used for?

What is 304 Stainless Steel?

Stainless steel 304 is an austenitic grade of stainless steel that contains high nickel content, typically somewhere between 8 and 10.5 percent by weight and a high amount of chromium that comprises approximately 18 to 20 percent by weight. The lower carbon content of grade 304 stainless steel minimizes chromium carbide precipitation from welding and the alloy’s susceptibility to intergranular corrosion.

304 stainless strip can achieve high hardness and strength through cold working. In the annealed condition, type 304 stainless steel strip is very ductile and can be cold worked easily through operations like roll forming, deep drawing, bending, and other common manufacturing processes. Stainless steel 304 strip is often specified for these characteristics given its high ductility, excellent drawing, forming, and spinning properties. The alloy work hardens rapidly, but in-process annealing is sometimes necessary to restore desirable ductility characteristics and lower hardness.

The 304 grade of stainless steel is known to have better corrosion resistance than Type 302. In regards to magnetic properties, 304 stainless steel is essentially non-magnetic, and only becomes slightly magnetic when cold worked. It has resistance to moderately aggressive organic acids is a result of the 9 to 11% nickel that the 304 alloys contain. Type 304 stainless steel strip also has resistance to corrosion in oxidizing environments is a result of the 18 to 19% chromium that the 304 alloys contain.

The alloy also exhibits excellent toughness, even down to cryogenic temperatures. On the other side of the spectrum, in terms of resistance to oxidation, this stainless steel alloy can be exposed to temperatures of about 1650F continuously appreciable scaling.

Type 304 can be easily welded using common fusion and resistance methods, like most other austenitic grades.

Type 304 Stainless Chemical Composition

Carbon: 0.08 max
Manganese: 2.00 max
Phosphorus: 0.040 max
Sulfur: 0.030 max
Silicon: 1.00 max
Chromium: 18.00- 20.00
Nickel: 8.00- 10.00
Copper: 0.75 max
Molybdenum: 0.75 max
Iron: Balance

Physical Properties of 304 Stainless Steel

Density: 0.29 lbs/in3 8.03 g/cm3
Electrical Resistivity: microhm-in (microhm-cm):
68 °F (20 °C): 28.4 (72)
1200 °F (659 °C): 45.8 (116)

Specific Heat: BTU/lb/°F (kJ/kg•K): 32 - 212 °F (0 - 100 °C): 0.12 (0.50)

Thermal Conductivity: BTU/hr/ft2/ft/°F (W/m•K):
At 212 °F (100 °C): .4 (16.2)
At 932 °F (500 °C): .4 (21.4)

Mean Coefficient of Thermal Expansion: in/in/°F,m/m•K)
32 - 212 °F (0 - 100 °C)- 9.4 x 10-6 (16.9)
32 - 600 °F (0- 315 °C)- 9.6 x 10-6 (17.3)
32 - 1000 °F (0 - 538 °C)-10.2 x 10-6 (18.4)
32 - 1200 °F (0 - 649 °C)-10.4 x 10-6 (18.7)

Modulus of Elasticity: ksi (MPa) 28 x 103 (193 x 103) in tension 11 .2 x 103 (78 x 103) in torsion Magnetic Permeability, H = 200 Oersteds: Annealed < 1.02 Melting Range: 2550 - 2650 °F (1399 - 1454 °C)


Coil - Strip, Foil, Ribbon Wire - Profile, Round, Flat, Square Bar (Canada only)- Round, Flat, Square Sheet (Canada only) Plate (Canada only) Diamond Plate (Canada only) Tubing (Canada only) - Round, Square, Rectangular Structural Angle (Canada only)

Mechanical Properties at Room Temperature Annealed:

Ultimate Tensile Strength: 75 KSI min (517 MPA min) Yield Strength (0.2% Offset): 30 KSI min (205 MPA min) Elongation: 40% Min Hardness: B92 max

Tempered Condition:

304 can be provided in the tempered condition. Please refer to Ulbrich Technical Services for more information.

Characteristics of Type 304

Corrosion Resistance

This alloy can withstand corrosion caused by various chemicals found in fruits, meat, and milk, making it a popular alloy in the food industry. Annealed stainless steel 304 has resistance to corrosion and heat that is superior to Types 301 and 302 stainless steels. Other areas of use include automotive, chemical containers, heat exchangers, oil well filter screens, medical devices, as well as fasteners.


304 stainless steel has good drawability. It can be formed into a variety of shapes and, in contrast to type 302 stainless, can often be performed without intermediate annealing, the heat treatment that softens metals.

Cold Forming

Stainless steel 304 is work hardenable. When cold working, an intermediate annealing stage to alleviate work hardening and avoid tearing or cracking. When fabrication is complete, a full annealing operation to reduce internal stresses and optimize corrosion resistance should be performed. 304 is ductile and can be cold worked by stamping, drawing, bending or forming methods.

Resistance to Elevated Temperature

Grade 304 steel can be exposed to temperatures of up to 1598 °F for short periods of time with good oxidation resistance as well as extended periods of time in temperatures of up to 1697 °F. However, prolonged exposure can compromise the overall corrosion resistance of the metal, making it more susceptible to corrosion damage from exposure to moisture.


  • #1 - Hot rolled annealed and descaled. It is available in strip, foil and ribbon. It is used for applications where a smooth decorative finish is not required.
  • #2D - Dull finish produced by cold rolling, annealing and descaling. Used for deep drawn parts and those parts that need to retain lubricants in the forming process.
  • #2B - Smooth finish produced by cold rolling, annealing and descaling. A light cold rolling pass is added after anneal with polished rolls giving it a brighter finish than 2D.
  • #BA- Bright annealed - cold rolled and bright annealed
  • #CBA - Coarse bright annealed cold rolled matte finish and bright anneal
  • #2 - Cold Rolled
  • #2BA - Smooth finish produced by cold rolling and bright annealing. A light pass using highly polished rolls produces a glossy finish. A 2BA finish may be used for lightly formed applications where a glossy finish is desired in the formed part.
  • Polished - Various grit finish for specific polish finished requirements

*Not all finishes are avaibable in all alloys - Contact Ulbrich Sales for more information.

Wire Finishes

  • XC - Extra clean bright annealed or bright annealed and cold rolled
  • Grease - Ultra-bright finish (for decorative applications)
  • Soap - Soap coating on tempered wire to act as lubricant.

*Contact Ulbrich Wire for custom finishes.

Heat Treatment

304 is non hardenable by heat treatment. It can only be hardened by cold working.

Weldability of 304 Stainless Steel

Stainless steel grade 304 is suitable for all forms of standard welding methods. Special care should be taken to assure the formation of ferrite in the weld deposit to avoid “hot cracking”. The use of grade 308L is recommended when a weld filler is needed.

For more information refer to: SSINA's "Welding of Stainless Steels and Other Joining Methods".

Limitation of Liability and Disclaimer of Warranty: In no event will Ulbrich Stainless Steels & Special Metals, Inc., be liable for any damages arising from the use of the information included in this document or that it is suitable for the 'applications' noted. We believe the information and data provided to be accurate to the best of our knowledge but, all data is considered typical values only. It is intended for reference and general information and not recommended for specification, design or engineering purposes. Ulbrich assumes no implied or express warranty in regard to the creation or accuracy of the data provided in this document.

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