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Ultimate Guide to 304/304L Pipes Stainless Steel Tubing

Ultimate Guide to 304/304L Pipes Stainless Steel Tubing

Guidance for 304/304L Pipes Stainless Steel Tubing

Stainless steel comes in various grades including Grade 304. This is a common general-purpose grade of stainless steel. It includes about 18 –20% chromium and 8-12% nickel with tiny amounts of manganese and carbon. Grade 304 stainless steel has chemical and chemical properties backed with exceptional corrosion resistance to offer exceptional all-around performance. This type of stainless steel is affordable compared to Grade 316 to explain its common use and popularity.

You have come across this grade of stainless steel on various plumbing fixtures such and commercial water installations that require excellent oxidation resistance. On the flipside, Grade 304 stainless steel is not ideal for environments with a heavy presence of tartaric, hydrochloric, sulfuric, and formic. Read on to get a better understanding of the differences between the variations of 304 stainless steel.

Grade 304 stainless steel

This variation of 304 stainless steel is commonly known as “18/8” SS for containing 8% nickel and 18% chromium. Grade 304 SS steel has exceptional welding properties and molding properties backed by great tensile strength and resistance to corrosion. Another wonderful feature of Grade 304 SS steel is its great drawability to allow forming in various shapes and sizes compared to other stainless steel grades. Besides, this is possible without the need for annealing.

You can order 304 stainless steel tube for various industries including food, brewing, milk processing, and wine making. Other applications of this stainless steel grade include storage tanks, yeast pans, and fermentation vats.

Domestic applications of 304 stainless steel include:

  • Cooking appliances
  • Refrigerators
  • Stoves
  • Tabletops
  • Sinks
  • Utensils

The corrosion resistance of this type of stainless steel allows use for food products such as fruits, meat, and milk. Some industrial uses of Grade 304 steel include use in chemical containers, chemical architecture, and heat exchangers.

Grade 304L stainless steel

Products made from Grade 304L steel usually have extremely low carbon content compared to steel alloys with Grade 304 steel. For having low carbon content, Grade 304L stainless steel has minimal harmful carbide. So, this type of stainless steel is ideal for making welded products ideal in corrosive environments. Additionally, Grade 304L eliminates the need for annealing.

The most significant difference between Grade 304 and Grade 304L stainless steel is the lower mechanical properties. This stainless steel is ideal for use in beer brewing and winemaking just like Grade 304 steel. Additionally, this stainless steel is ideal for other industries beyond the food industry including making nuts and bolts on exposure to brine water.

Basic properties of Grade 304 stainless steel tubes

Resistance to oxidation

People were facing a problem of round stainless steel tubes rusting on use outdoor. Products such as metal handrails were deteriorating ending up looking unattractive because of oxidation. Restoring their aesthetic appeal required regular repainting. Fortunately, the use of products with 304 stainless steel eliminates chances of oxidation. This ensures that products maintain their aesthetic appeal while encouraging saving on maintenance costs.

Stainless steel tubes are appropriate for use in situations requiring various temperatures compared to other metals such as aluminum, copper, and other alloys. Depending on the required temperature, Grade 304 stainless steel ranges from -250 to 925 degrees Celsius to make it appropriate for use in various industries such as food processing that require a particular temperature. The corrosion resistance of this stainless steel grade lowers maintenance costs while giving its products a superior appearance. All these benefits offset the initial cost of investing in Grade 304 stainless steel.

Resistance to heat cycling

Manufacturers of products such as racks for holding pans in commercial ovens need a material that cleans up easily and withstands heat cycling. Additionally, the ideal material should match the product’s manufacturing process. A good solution is to use Grade 304 stainless steel tubing precut to length.

The good thing about this stainless steel is its exceptional fatigue resistance during continuous heat cycles making the product last longer. The use of precut tubing reduces labor costs since the material goes directly to the assembly area. This decreases waste resulting from cutting errors and rejections. Grade 304 stainless steel tubing allows producing easy to produce produces that last long with a great appearance and are easy to clean.

Great weldability

Grade 304 stainless steel has nickel and chromium making it great for welding. Supporting the formation of ferrite by chromium allows seamless welding. Grade 304L is a lower version of 304 steel variations that require no or little annealing before welding. This feature allows the use of this stainless steel to make components with a high gauge.

Grade 304 stainless steel has low-temperature properties to allow hardening joints and parts after welding during cold working. Additionally, welders love using 304 steel for allowing the use of any welding processes including MIG, SA, TIG, and MMA.

Wrapping up

Grade 304 stainless steel tubes are a great choice for excellent formability and low cost without compromising aesthetic appeal and resistance to corrosion.

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Ultimate Guide to 304/304L Pipes Stainless Steel Tubing

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